Digital Imagery

Digital Imagery
Captured on film

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Work and Labour

Fifth Blog Entry:


Welcome back, this blog entry will concentrate on the topic of work and labour and which one of these fits with my activity. 

According to Green (1968), he describes labour as a “mere activity characterized by necessity and futility. The goods produced by labour are consumed and have no enduring quality.  A man is not free whose life is totally absorbed in labour” (p.99).
Green also states that “work is an activity producing an enduring object. Work requires self-investment, skill, craft and personal judgement and that work is purposeful and meaningful” (p.99).
From this quote I consider that my activity of hebel sculpture fit’s under the umbrella of “work”, because it is an activity that is purposeful and meaningful to me. When I create using hebel the end result is an object, a product which is not necessary for anything or does it makes a difference to the world. It is also classified as “work” because it requires my time and skill for a sculpture to be accomplished, also because it is something that I want to do.

Ardent, (1958) describes work as “against necessity (labour)” (p.7).
Before I began this degree, I would create sculptures on a regular basis and usually on a weekend day. I was often commissioned to produce particular sculptures; I would attend the weekly markets, arts & craft exhibitions and facilitate school holiday programmes for children. The above quotes from Green and Ardent, suggests that this would have been somewhat like “labour”. Sculpting was like labour as it did become an activity that was characterized by necessity.

If I was unable to engage in my activity of hebel sculpture, I would survive but I do not feel I would have  ”occupational balance” within my life.

CTate 2010


Arendt, H. (1958).  The human condition.  Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Green, T. F. (1968).  Work, leisure and the American schools. 

                 New York: Random House.


  1. Hi Cara :) Really enjoyed this post and how your activity of hebel sculpture links nicely with work/labour. Have you always seen hebel sculpture as BOTH work and labour, or has this paper made you reflect on this more? Great tool to have as an OT :)

  2. Hi Vicki, thanks for your comment! I have always seen this activity as being both work/labour due to using it for the two different reasons; i.e. hobby or financial benefits. I do believe this paper has taught me to analysis an occupation to a far greater extent than I would have before :)