Decisions about working for free are rarely straightforward. In an ideal world, survival would be guaranteed for people, so they could freely choose to volunteer their skills when they find it meaningful rather than desperately hope that this would lead them to paid positions in a distant future. Unfortunately, we are very far from this perfect world, and many of us have at some point worked or hired people to work for free. I am certainly guilty of both, and some of these transactions in social capital, to use Pierre Bourdieu’s terms, were more successful or meaningful than others. Based on this experience, how does one navigate the world full of offers to work for free with very uncertain returns?
Social history is a ‘thing’ in History studies for quite a few years, but we′re still to see more museums that deal with it in Europe. Social history interests much broader audiences – no wonder why the new generation of historians swaps wars and heroes for history of diseases, relationships, food or fashion. If social history papers were media articles, they could expect lots of ′likes′. The Workers Museum in Copenhagen seems to know that, and it has a story to tell, despite having rather few original artifacts.
I recently had several hours in Copenhagen between flights and decided to make it a very targeted tour. The Workers Museum, which is very close to Israel Square with its nice food market (metro station Nørreport), was one of the places I picked. Continue reading