New Philosopher

Bad attitude

Studs Terkel, the great oral historian, begins his definitive book on working life in 1970s America with Mike Lefevre, a 37-year-old labourer in a steel mill near Chicago. Lefevre describes himself as a mule, doing “strictly muscle work”. When a foreman criticises Lefevre’s “bad attitude”, the labourer responds, “my attitude is that I don’t get excited about my job… How are you gonna get excited about pullin’ steel?”

Why is it so hard for Lefevre to find purpose in “pullin’ steel”? Is it because he is doing what economists would call ‘unskilled labour’ – work that has no or very minimal education requirements? Perhaps some work is so repetitive, so

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Interessi correlati

Altro da New Philosopher

New Philosopher20 min lettiPsychology
Perceptual Triggers
Louise Antony is Professor of Philosophy at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She studied philosophy at Syracuse University and the University of London, and received her PhD from Harvard University. With Norbert Horn-stein, she co-edited Chomsky
New Philosopher1 min lettiPsychology
Perception /pəˈsɛpʃ(ə)n/
1 The ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. 2. Awareness of something through the senses. 3. The neurophysiological processes, including memory, by which an organism becomes aware of and interprets external stimul
New Philosopher3 min letti
Even the simple act which we describe as ‘seeing someone we know’ is, to some extent, an intellectual process. We pack the physical outline of the creature we see with all the ideas we already formed about him, and in the complete picture of him whic