Handiwork against bullshit jobs

Strike a blow against bullshit jobs and complete this lovely embroidery in timeless colour.


Handiwork differs from handicraft in that, unlike the latter, it is not work, but rather an unpaid women’s activity – preferably a textile one – such as the production and repair of clothing. Now that clothes are made for cheap in countries to which we mostly travel on cheap holidays, handiwork is increasingly carried out as pure diversion and relaxation, when one has time off from e.g. what the social anthropologist David Graeber would have called bullshit jobs.

Bullshit jobs must not be confused with so-called crap work – i.e. heavy, low-paid and strictly necessary work – but is, on the other hand, characterized by the fact that the tasks are so meaningless that no one notices if they are not carried out. This type of professions are also so well paid that most people choose to stay in their position rather than take a job in a necessary but often underpaid profession, and this despite the fact that they run a great risk of becoming deeply depressed and disillusioned – something many bullshit job performers report.

Critics of Graeber’s theory claim that this type of work is only found in the public sector, as the smooth market liberal mechanisms of the private sector would have quickly removed employees and tasks that are not needed. Graeber’s research and the statistics he relies on show that this is wrong. There are probably as many bullshit workers in the private sector as in the public sector. It is unclear whether New Public Management (NPM) can take full credit for this. But with its requirements for control of target-setting and competition management, the system has contributed generously to the creation of a wide range of new types of bullshit jobs in both the private and public sectors.


Embroidery canvas, needle, yarn (black, light gray and red)


Strike a blow against bullshit jobs and complete this beautiful embroidery in timeless combination of colours. After the main motif has been completed with black thread for the text and light gray for the background, the work is fully finished by sewing a final full-covering cross stitch with red thread across the entire canvas. Frame it nicely and hang it up at home or in a public space, or skip the framing and sew it onto a bus seat.

Here we see a dedicated seminar participant getting started with the embroidery.
No bullshit!


Read more about David Graeber’s theory here >>

Read about the Antiwork movement here >>