The article analyzes the way in which work in Naples has been represented in literary work and in social inquiry. It starts by the observation that the issue has not been given the deserving relevance while at the same time stereotypes have been dominant in both cases. These concern an alleged negative attitude towards work and a tendency to invent odd jobs. In an opposite side there are important literary works such as Donnarumma all’assalto by Ottieri and La dismissione by Ermanno Rea that narrate with sociological imagination the workers’ human conditions and social values. All these works show that the world of the factory and the world of the street corner are very close: workers, unemployed and underemployed come from the same milieu and share the same problems. At the turn of the century a new trend emerged in literature with the dominance of books of docufiction where work was absent and its role substituted by the role of the organized crime (Camorra) in a more and more violent city, with the effect of creating an additional stereotype.
Keywords: Work, unemployment, stereotype, Naples