The Harvard Business Review Ideacast reporter Sarah Green interviews Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Center of WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, who cites Mary Blair-Loy’s “work-devotion schema”, thereby emphasizing the central role of devotion in the meaning of life, which I wrote about several months ago

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

[T]he work devotion schema, [Mary Blair-Loy] found, communicated that work should be the central focus of your life, unencumbered by family responsibilities; that it entailed overlays of deep emotional ties with your work; that work is the chief place that you get your sense of identity, the chief place you get your sense of moral worth. “I would do anything for my clients” is a very common thing to hear. For example, lawyers say, “I’m always available when my clients need me.”

Mary Blair-Loy describes the work devotion schema in more detail on her homepage:

Blair-Loy explicitly analyzes broadly shared, cultural models of a worthwhile life, such as the work devotion schema and the family devotion schema. These cultural schemas help shape workplace and family structures. They frame certain decisions as morally and emotionally compelling, while defining others as off-limits.  The work devotion schema renders professional life meaningful, justifies spending little time on family care, and reinforces gender inequality in the labor market.

If nothing else, I recommend listening to the HBR podcast (here’s the direct link to the mp3 file). If you want to check out what I wrote in June, here’s the link to “In order to live a life of devotion, one must be able to successfully choose a top priority

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