Series: Snow White and Working Life

Heigh Ho launched in February 2023 with a series of articles exploring working life through the lens of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

In order of publication:

1. Introduction

Let’s animate our understanding of our own jobs and working life, as we use the classic film for a fun ride through topics like job crafting, DEI, emotional labor, and much more.

2. Expectations of Working Life

Setting the stage: The influence of pop culture — including media targeted to kids — shouldn’t be underestimated. Decoding it helps explain how and why we show up at work. 

3. Whistle While You Work

One of the most popular in the series, this post uses Snow White’s hit song as a springboard to explore the history of music at work, with tips on the genres that do or don’t make good on-the-job listening based on your likes/dislikes and the task at hand.

4. Child Labor

Is Snow White’s truth stranger than fiction? As 5 million kids toil in mines globally and battle lines are drawn for and against US child labor, now’s the time to take stock.

5. Labor Utopia or Dystopia?

What looks like a degrading portrayal of outcasts has also been framed as an homage to the American worker. The depiction of the seven dwarfs informs modern perspectives on labor in the context of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

5. A Surprise Appearance

This post reveals a unique connection between Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and working life, especially as it relates to the jobs we hold in our youth.

6. Emotional Labor

Concerned that Heigh Ho was perceived as a newsletter primarily about Snow White, Disney, or fairy tales, this article barely mentions the story or movie. But the topic is a multifaceted look at a construct embedded in the lyrics of Whistle While You Work.

7. Youth Employment

Again, while Snow White is not mentioned explicitly, this post was motivated by responses to previous posts in the series regarding child labor and youth employment. Don’t miss the crowd-sourced summer-job playlist.

8. Unpaid Domestic Work

Unpaid domestic labor, also called unpaid work, is time and energy expended within a household or family for the benefit of its members. With a tie-in to Snow White — and references to iconic cultural works like Dina Goldstein’s “Snowy” photo and Emma’s “You Should Have Asked Comic” — this post explores the disproportionate burden unpaid domestic work places on women, and how this affects their emotional, financial, and occupational wellbeing.

9. Job Crafting

In this far reaching conversation with Rob Baker, author of Personalization at Work, we explore job crafting, whereby a worker tailors their job-related tasks, relationships, and thoughts to optimize how it fits to their strengths. Allegorically, we identify the many job crafting behaviors of Snow White and the forest animals in the Whistle While You Work scene to discuss how job crafting can increase productivity, innovation, and wellbeing, and how it can go astray. Included: An embedded video of the scene, an audio of the full discussion, and an extensive text excerpt.

The Brothers Grimm version of Snow White

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