The much-maligned Americanism “What do you do?” says it all: It feels there’s no life, no being beyond a job. Under capitalism, work and identity are inescapably tied. Even for a punk or a disillusioned teen, we costume ourselves—by choice or not—to communicate what it is we do all day. Everyone is a worker, though the nation of work is complicated, shifting, differentiated by type of job or lack of one.
One way we know someone’s job is by what they wear. Do you have to wear a uniform? Or are you free to wear what you want, donning your own costume (slacker startup hoodie and jeans and running shoes, for example) that may convey just as much as a company-issued jumpsuit would? Are you working only on Zoom, dressing “presentably” only from the waist up? Where does your identity go when you take off your clothes? In episode one of What Do People Do All Day, Simon Dybbroe Møller looks into how what we do makes us who we are, creating collisions that make us think about the complex array of economic, social, and practical exchanges that interact to structure our daily life.