Understanding Lived Experiences
Edited by Emma Bell, Sorin Gog, Anca Simionca and Scott Taylor
Chapter 5: The commodification of re-sacralised work in the neoliberal era
In 2010–11, I spent just over a year living and working in a New Age commune in Scotland, known as the Findhorn Foundation. While work at Findhorn is certainly a form of economic activity, it represents an extraordinary reversal of economic orthodoxy; the direction of monetary exchange is inverted and so participant-visitors pay to work for them. Findhorn’s mantra is Work is love in action! From one perspective, this invites a cynical interpretation. From another, however, that participants willingly pay to do this work suggests there is something about the work itself that they are attracted to; something which is lacking in their routine daily work practices. Work at Findhorn appears to be re-sacralised; a tonic for its conventional and de-sacralised rendering under neoliberalism. But, of course, there is a tension between this apparent re-sacralisation and its evident commodification, a tension which finds empirical echoes elsewhere in the literature.
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