Theoretical engagements with the phenomena of Quiet Quitting and the work-less movement

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The phenomenon of 'Quiet quitting' and the work-less movement, more generally, has received a fair amount of attention over the last couple of years. Overall, they are associated with a historical shift in our conceptualizations of ‘work’; an increase in people who subscribe to the attitude that work takes up too much of their lives, either practically, physically, temporally or mentally. What the protests are about and how extensive they are, however, is quite unclear. Not least because the answers to these questions raise theoretical and methodological questions as well. Nevertheless, they certainly suggest a change in the way we think about and talk about our work-lives and labor society. Even in a time, where most politicians, in Denmark at least, have their eyes fixed firmly on securing increased labor supply, and wants us to enter the labor market faster and stay on it longer. Thus, while many everyday life conversations ventilate wishes for a less hectic worklife, the political conversation is about the opposite. This discrepancy points to an interesting complexity in our current labor society model, where opposing wishes confront each other and a number of traditional patterns for our conduct of everyday life may have to be rethought. With this situation as its point of departure, the presentation starts by laying out the statistical reality of these trends as they are presented by formal labor marked data, and then proceeds to demonstrate how this ‘reality’ precisely cannot answer the questions it can present. Secondly, it then proceeds to relate these methodological insufficiencies to wider theoretical issues, by presenting more qualitative data, that help demonstrate the problem, and relate it to an absence in the formal data of attention to the importance of human agency.
Publikationsdato21 maj 2024
StatusUdgivet - 21 maj 2024
Begivenhed20th Conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology : Theory as Engagement - University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade, Serbien
Varighed: 20 maj 202425 maj 2024
Konferencens nummer: 20


Konference20th Conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology
LokationUniversity of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy
AndetEngaged theorising has a long history, however it seems as timely and needed today as ever, particularly in psychology. It asserts that theorising is not held aside from or even in opposition to the real world – it is because we hold the world and people, their complexity, institutions, cultures, and power seriously that we need to theorise. Theorising is inclusive, it requires dedication and time, and it is always a dialogical endeavour. The beauty of theorising is that it transcends national, historical, social, and linguistic barriers while simultaneously serving as a tool for their critical examination, provided that it is respectful, honest, transparent, dialogical, and reflexive. Theory done in an engaged way creates a shift in thinking and practice that can direct social and personal transformation.<br/>


  • Workless movement
  • Quiet quitting
  • Labor market policy
  • work psychology

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