Adam Storer Humanities and Social Science
The 35 Hour Work Week in France and the Political Economy of Andr Gorz
Social theorist Andr Gorz explores the irrationality of a society dominated by distinctly economic motives in his book Critique of Economic Reason. A practical philosopher, Gorz ends his theoretical work with suggestions on limiting the sphere of economics, expanding the role of leisure, and allowing individuals to pursue work they actually enjoy, instead of simply pursuing a wage by limiting the amount of time a person can work. My research focuses on France’s highly contested 35-hour work week legislation, which limits the amount of time an employer can demand from employees. By searching for and organizing economic data in the food service sector and collecting and analyzing the arguments for and against the legislation in France’s National Assembly, my research matches Gorz’s philosophy with his ideas. My findings will add to a growing body of work questioning if and under what circumstances such anti-capitalist legislation can be effective.