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5 Works 969 Membros 55 Críticas

About the Author

A former senior culture writer for BuzzFeed, Anne Helen Petersen now writes her newsletter, Culture Study, as a full-time venture on Substack. Petersen received her PhD at the University of Texas at Austin, where she focused on the history of celebrity gossip. Her previous books, Too Fat, Too mostrar mais Slutty, Too Loud and Scandals of Classic Hollywood, were featured on NPR and in Elle and the Atlantic. She lives in Missoula, Montana. mostrar menos

Includes the name: Anne Helen Peterson

Obras por Anne Helen Petersen


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Locais de residência
Missoula, Montana, USA
Whitman College
University of Oregon
University of Texas
Warzel, Charlie (partner)
Prémios e menções honrosas
Phi Beta Kappa



I've long been a fan of Anne Helen Peterson's work since her piece on Burnout in Buzzfeed News, and have followed her to the Culture Study substack.

Out of Office is partly about working from home, but more broadly is an examination on how we work, specifically in the United States and trends over the years, like how technology such as email or chat/messenger (Slack, Teams, etc.) are ostensibly supposed to ease communication but in reality let work follow us home, blurring the boundaries between work and personal time. A lot of these have been festering problems that were really thrown into sharp relief during the pandemic, most typically for information workers. It's difficult for the individual to tackle such broad issues (that frankly need to be addressed at an institutional level), but there are suggestions to consider such as defining your boundaries and finding community OUTSIDE of work.

I'm biased because I like AHP's work, but also because I have one of those bullshit office jobs (and having transitioned to the desk from the lab bench, previously interacting more often with production workers on the floor... yeah, I feel like there's more physical effort going on there than what I do, and having to take inventory of my actions before an extended leave only highlights this for me). Still, even if the issues aren't a matter of life and death our employers should still consider how best to treat and accommodate their workers, especially as younger employees will seek out better settings if an employer oversteps.

It's a little bit funny to read this in 2023 when they interview the head of Twitter's HR in 2021 about hybrid changes to disincentivize coming to the office in order to allow for hybrid remote/in person work collaborations, when in late 2022 Twitter's workforce was thrown into chaos in a number of ways including mass layoffs and a forced return to the office.
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Daumari | 4 outras críticas | Dec 28, 2023 |
Ironically, regularly posting updates to goodreads was a self-demonstrating example of turning hobbies into work so here I am, writing an update as I finished the book early this morning. (and trying not to feel guilty taking 20 days to read a relatively short book...!)

Can't Even expands on Anne Helen Peterson's viral longform essay for Buzzfeed, "How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation", dividing into chapters by theme (education, the various ways work has become shitty/the 'love what you do' myth/parenting/etc.) with plenty of anecdote from Millennials across geographic and class spectrum. As a reminder, we're the age cohort between 1981 and 1996, so while we've been painted as "lazy and entitled young people" for the last twenty years, we're grown adults trying to keep our heads above water after weathering multiple economic downturns in our adult lives.

In general, Can't Even is a good primer on the ways in which capitalism has fucked over society and how we've turned everything from our hobbies to our child-rearing into work, which compounds into exhaustion. She's cautious to not provide flimsy suggested solutions at the end, as these are things that we can't necessarily fix on the individual level and require structural changes.

I'd strongly recommend reading cited sources for further information on labor (I read [b:Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary|37003174|Temp How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary|Louis Hyman|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1513007876l/37003174._SY75_.jpg|58855306] two years ago and recognized the arguments in the chapter on the gig economy). Also, AHP has a newsletter named "Culture Study" which also looks at this among other topics like celebrity culture and what it indicates.
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Daumari | 10 outras críticas | Dec 28, 2023 |
As a millennial,, reading Can't Even was a very cathartic experience. This is a defining work about a generation burdened by a capitalistic system that doesn't work for them. I've experienced much of what Anne talks about in this book: the desire to escape my hometown through college, no matter the cost; the lost of my love for various hobbies and artistic pursuits because I was pressured to monetized them; crushing student loan debt; the burden of juggling multiple minimum wage jobs; etc. And I'm better off than many of my peers!

This book is a wake up call to make sure we participate in the democratic system in order to elect officials who will make sweeping changes to make work and living better.
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ryantlaferney87 | 10 outras críticas | Dec 8, 2023 |



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