Monday, April 21, 2008

The Enduring Satisfactions of Craftsmanship

'The laborer with a sense of craft becomes engaged in work in and for itself; the satisfactions of working are their own reward; the details of daily labor are connected in the worker's mind to the end products; the worker can control his or her own actions at work; skill develops within the work process; work is connected to the freedom to experiment; finally, family, community and politics are measured by the standards of inner satisfaction, coherence and experiment in craft labor.'
--The late sociologist C. Wright Mills, quoted in the new book, The Craftsman. As his biographer noted recently, Mills, a "broad-shouldered, motorcycle-riding anarchist" sociology professor, also wrote a line a half century ago that sounds eerily contemporary: "For the first time in American history, men in authority are talking about an 'emergency' without a foreseeable end."


At 1:00 AM, Anonymous jo said...

We have to work to survive, but craftsmanship and the satisfaction it brings turns the tables on work from a necessity to part of our satisfaction in life, sort of life as art.


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