Most available theories of work assume that one central, normal organization of work exists, most often in the image of well-defined jobs in orderly labor markets; other sorts of work then become variants on the theme or deviations from it. Within strong limits set by technology and market conditions, a single decision-making worker bargains with a single decision-making employer; compounded, bargains of this kind generate variable organizations of work. People who work and make others work do so on the basis of strong understandings about what forms of interaction are possible, desirable, and effective for what likely outcomes. Most economic theorizing about work assumes that it occurs in efficiently organized labor markets. Even in capitalist countries, the bulk of work goes on outside of tightly organized labor markets. It takes place in households, schools, prisons, the informal economy, family farms, petty commodity production, and other settings that lack the apparatus of firms and jobs.