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Abstract

I ultimately ended up leaving the carpenter’s union to go back to school. However I shifted my goals away from business and construction management to focus on the field of sociology. By getting a degree in sociology I can come closer to realizing my work utopia, what I imagine to be the perfect balance of work and quality of life. In the future I see myself involved in some type of social work. I realize that social work does not pay as much as construction management, contracting, or other fields of work; however it appeals to me in the fact that I can help others. While I do want to earn enough money to live comfortably and buy some of the better material things, I am more concerned with having time with family and working with people. In the documentary film, Running Out of Time, the terms “simple living” and “downshifting” really stood out to me. I can picture myself giving up the opportunity to make more money in exchange for a better quality of life. This speaks to some of Juliet Schor’s points in her article “The (Even More) Overworked American.” Schor writes of trends in working hours and suggests using labor saving technologies. These technological advances include “the Internet, computers, wireless, bio-informatics and science” and were designed to “yield stupendous productivity gains that delivered us from excessive labor” (Schor, 9). She suggests that Americans use the time saved from technological advances to pursue hobbies and participate more in family activities. Perhaps we would be better off if we could learn to live on a lower income in exchange for more free time.

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