A new essay from The Baffler suggests burnout is “a personal malady that indexes a broken labor system,” rather than a trendy term that “resonates with affluent professionals who fetishize overwork.”

And then the essay turns to Jonathan Malesic’s new book The End of Burnout:
He casts a critical eye on burnout discourse, in which the term is used loosely and self-flatteringly. Journalistic treatments of burnout — such as Anne Helen Petersen’s widely read 2019 essay — tend to emphasize the heroic exertions of the burned-out worker, who presses on and gets her work done, no matter what. Such accounts have significantly raised burnout’s prestige, Malesic argues, by aligning the disorder with “the American ideal of constant work.” But they give, at best, a partial view of what burnout is. The psychologist Christina Maslach, a foundational figure in burnout research — the Maslach Burnout Inventory is the standard burnout assessment —

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