In a new interview on Vox’s The Gray Area podcast, political philosopher Elizabeth Anderson F’13 explains how “the biggest killjoys in European history hijacked the way we think about work.” In the episode, Anderson discusses her new book, Hijacked: How Neoliberalism Turned the Work Ethic Against Workers and How Workers Can Take It Back (Cambridge University Press, 2023), with host Sean Illing.

A lot of what I’m writing about, and this is especially true in the US, is a culture deeply imbued with the hijacked version of the work ethic, the capitalist version…we’re deeply imbued with the work ethic, suspicion of the poor, contempt for the poor, when in fact what social scientists have been telling us ever since the rise of social science is that a lot of poverty is structural.

Elizabeth Anderson F’13

Elizabeth Anderson is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, John Dewey Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy and Women’s & Gender Studies, and Max Shaye Professor of Public Philosophy at the University of Michigan. She specializes in moral, social and political philosophy, feminist theory, social epistemology, and the philosophy of economics and the social sciences. She was awarded an ACLS Fellowship in 2013 for her project, “Moral Epistemology from a Pragmatist Perspective: Case Studies from the History of Abolition and Emancipation.”

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