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The Craftsman

The Craftsman by Richard Sennett
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Why do people work hard, and take pride in what they do? This book, a philosophically-minded enquiry into practical activity of many different kinds past and present, is about what happens when people try to do a good job. It asks us to think about the true meaning of skill in the 'skills society' and argues that pure competition is a poor way to achieve quality work. Sennett suggests, instead, that there is a craftsman in every human being, which can sometimes be enormously motivating and inspiring - and can also in other circumstances make individuals obsessive and frustrated.

The Craftsman shows how history has drawn fault-lines between craftsman and artist, maker and user, technique and expression, practice and theory, and that individuals' pride in their work, as well as modern society in general, suffers from these historical divisions. But the past lives of crafts and craftsmen show us ways of working (using tools, acquiring skills, thinking about materials) which provide rewarding alternative ways for people to utilise their talents. We need to recognise this if motivations are to be understood and lives made as fulfilling as possible.

Penguin Books Ltd; February 2009
336 pages; ISBN 9780141919416
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Title: The Craftsman
Author: Richard Sennett
  • News
Crafting a New World - Utne Reader Online
Thu, 14 Jan 2016 02:13:45 -0800
Utne Reader OnlineCrafting a New WorldUtne Reader OnlineThere is a craftsperson in everyone, according to Richard Sennett. But ...
Your life will be far better if you copy these crafty writers - The Guardian
Mon, 12 Oct 2015 03:00:26 -0700
The GuardianYour life will be far better if you copy these crafty writersThe GuardianRichard Sennett's The Craftsman is ...
Craftsmanship in urban planning - Livemint
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 04:24:22 -0800
LivemintCraftsmanship in urban planningLivemintIn his book, Sennett contends that the values of the craftsman, rather than pure ...

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