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Schutzian Research

Volume 1, 2009

Thomas Luckmann, Jeremy Neill
Pages 101-112
DOI: 10.7761/SR.1.101

Reality as Work

In the face of various contemporary everyday understandings of work, this essay relies upon phenomenological analyses to distinguish key concepts such as action (Handeln), working (Werken), and work (Arbeit). Actions are pre-planned conscious experiences, working is the embodiment of such actions in behavior, and work is a form of working that has for its principal goal the changing of reality. The concept of work as we know it has evolved from structural developments in society such as the social division of labor, the growth of professions, the social distribution of knowledge, the growth of markets, and industrialization. The end results have been that work roles have been separated from kinship structures, that one produces for society at large rather than one’s own needs, and that one is no longer self-sufficient in the maintenance of one’s lifestyle.

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