SURF

Adam Storer

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.

Message to Sponsor

The study of social systems that my research entails falls between Politics and Economics in a way that traditional coursework does not address. Having time to read the works of philosophers who address the questions I'm interested in is essential to my development as a student, and the opportunity to do empirical research allows me to ground my studies in the real world. The times the grant allows me to study will help me become a more disciplined student and prepare me for graduate school.
  • Major: Political Economy
  • Mentor: Joseph Lough, International & Area Studies