A painting of Sisyphus pushing his rock up the hill

In this episode Kim talks with Mustafa Yavas about Alienation.

Mustafa quotes Karl Marx’s Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. He also references Albert Camus’ books The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus, and Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times. Towards the end of the episode, he mentions Bertrand Russell’s 1930 article “In Praise of Idleness.”

For listeners interested in reading more on alienation, he recommends Herbert Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization; David Graeber’s Bullshit Jobs, and Rahel Jaeggi’s Alienation. He also suggests three great movies that dwell on the subject: Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann; Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa, and Tolga Karacelik’s Toll Booth.

Mustafa is a postdoctoral scholar in sociology at NYU Abu Dhabi, where he works on work! He is writing a book called White Collar Blues about the transnational Turkish middle class, for which he has recently completed a brilliant book proposal (editors take note!). His previous research focused on boundary processes in social, economic, and political settings, including status homophily in social networks, residential segregation by income, and collective identity formation in social movements.

This week’s image is a 1920 painting of Sisyphus at his futile labor by Franz Stuck. Available on Wikimedia Commons.

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