March 1st, 2024
The paper “‘Bullshit’ After All? Why People Consider Their Jobs Socially Useless” by Simon Walo from the University of Zurich in 2023 investigates the perception of job usefulness among workers, primarily in the United States. Building on David Graeber’s ‘bullshit jobs theory,’ which posits that some jobs are objectively useless, the study utilizes a rich dataset to explore this notion further. Previous European studies, notably by Soffia et al. (2022), found little support for Graeber's theory, instead suggesting that alienation, arising from unfavorable working conditions and bad management practices, might explain why people find their jobs socially useless. However, Walo's study diverges by demonstrating robust support for Graeber’s theory in the US context, particularly in certain occupations such as administrative
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