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Jobs, Health, and the Meaning of Work

Jobs, Health, and the Meaning of Work

Current price: $35.00
Publication Date: August 6th, 2024
The MIT Press


A first-of-its-kind analysis using public health and economics research to illuminate how jobs affect our well-being.

As the saying goes, “find a job you that you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Could it really be so simple? According to Mary Davis’s innovative Jobs, Health, and the Meaning of Work, of course not. Davis explores the science of jobs from the vantage point of both public health and economics; in doing so, she untangles the complex weave of what makes people happy, healthy, and fulfilled at work. Sharing the real-life stories of workers who thrive (or struggle) in their jobs, this book emphasizes the point that there is no single recipe for what makes work healthy and meaningful across workers.

Topics covered in the book include wage and nonwage characteristics of jobs that impact worker well-being, the role of recessions, the concept of meaningful work, and job stress and burnout. It concludes by putting these stories and research within the context of the COVID labor economy and the future of work. This novel blend of economic and public health research deepens the discussion of what makes work meaningful.

About the Author

Mary Davis is Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. She has held past research appointments at the Harvard School of Public Health, University of Maine, University of Massachusetts Boston, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Boston University.