At the Heart of Work and Family
Engaging the Ideas of Arlie Hochschild
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Rutgers University Press
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American sociology, pre-Hochschild, was a pretty arid undertaking. I turned to it again and again in the sixties and seventies—for insights into subjects ranging from class inequality, gender relations, and the nature of the professions, to the behavior of crowds—only to be numbed by colorless categorizations and abstractions such as “roles” and “institutions.” It is as if a band of...
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Many people assisted us in bringing this project to fruition. We thank Annette Lareau, who invited us in 2006 to co-organize with her a one-day conference that would present papers highlighting the work and ideas of Arlie Russell Hochschild. The conference, “The Importance of Being Conceptual: Exploring the Sociological Contributions of Arlie Russell Hochschild,” which was held...
Guide to Topics
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Introduction: An Eye on Emotion in the Study of Families and Work
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In E. B. White’s classic children’s story, Charlotte’s Web, Charlotte, a spider, spends all night spinning a web with the words “some pig” in the center. Charlotte hopes her web will save the life of her friend Wilbur, a pig whom farmer Zuckerman plans to butcher. Charlotte’s plan works, and in the morning when the farmer sees the magnificent web, he is amazed and runs to tell his ...
PART I: Family Time Binds
1. Inside the Clockwork of Male Careers
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An offhand remark made to me years ago has haunted me more and more ever since. I was talking at lunch with an acquaintance, and the talk turned, as it often does among women academicians just before it’s time to part, to “How do you manage a full teaching schedule and family?” and “How do you feel about being a woman in a world of men?” My acquaintance held a marginal position as one...
2. Shift Work in Multiple Time Zones: Some Implications of Contingent and Nonstandard Employment for Family Life
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People who hold one permanent, five-day, forty-hour-a-week job (Monday through Friday, eight to five) are in the minority in the United States. Only about 30 percent of employed Americans regularly work this standard schedule (Presser 2003, 15). If not on standard schedules, when are we working and how are our jobs organized? The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies fourteen million...
3. Where Families and Children’s Activities Meet: Gender, MESHing Work, and Family Myths
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A recent study suggests that among families of college-educated parents with two children, the children are spending approximately twenty-five hours per month in organized activities. Time diary data from a nationally representative study estimated that a child of a mother with a college degree spends approximately three hours and twenty minutes each week attending organized activities...
4. Emotional Carework, Gender, and the Division of Household Labor
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Emotional connection and support have been considered essential, if not the essential, characteristics of marriage and family life since at least the mid-twentieth century. Although the functionalist theory that produced the idea that women are primarily responsible for these expressive/emotional tasks while men are expected to perform instrumental/breadwinner ones has been broadly criti-...
5. “Why Can’t I Have What I Want?”: Timing Employment, Marriage, and Motherhood
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Stuck. Virtually every woman I interviewed expressed the feeling. Something conspired to disrupt the trajectory of love to marriage to children. Joy McFadden pointed the finger at her demanding job and a shortage of candidates in the marriage market.¹ She declared herself unwilling to settle for compromises: a marriage arrived at to serve other ends. Claudia D’Angelo acknowledged her...
PART II: Work/Family Feeling Rules for Managing the Heart
6. Framing Couple Time and Togetherness among American and Norwegian Professional Couples
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In The Second Shift (Hochschild 1989), we meet several couples in which the two partners find themselves at odds over the man’s allocation of attention and emotional energy between his work and the relationship. In one of those couples, Seth Stein voluntarily withdraws from his romantic life so that he can give all of himself to his job as an attorney. This shift of time and energy away...
7. Love and Gratitude: Single Mothers Talk about Men's Contributions to the Second Shift
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In a classic piece reconsidering material taken from The Second Shift, Arlie Russell Hochschild (2003, 116) analyzes the economies of gratitude that emerge within the marital relationship. In doing so she traces gratitude to three sources: to current ideas about honor that derive from a moral frame of reference (when we ask, “How lucky am I compared to what the cultural code leads me to...
8. The Asking Rules of Reciprocity
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In this essay I probe the hesitation—that considered pause—before requesting help. The social tensions between obligation, perception, and need reveal the complex ways that people interpret and negotiate reciprocity. The unspoken but observed conventions reveal a disjuncture between what people feel they need and what they think they can acceptably ask. Understanding Arlie Hochschild’s...
9. Wives Who Play by the Rules: Working on Emotions in the Sport Marriage
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Stacy is disillusioned. When she married her husband, Dennis, a major league baseball relief pitcher, she expected him to be just as involved in their marriage as he was in his career. However, she gradually and reluctantly came to acknowledge a growing competition between his career and their marriage. It became quite clear that his career came first—a reality many wives of professional ...
10. Emotion Work in the Age of Insecurity
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Judging by its staying power as one of the most e-mailed news stories of the week, the New York Times article “In Silicon Valley, Millionaires Who Don’t Feel Rich” clearly struck a chord with many people (Rivlin 2007). Building from the premise that those with millions of dollars should feel rich, the article takes us into the upside down world of some extremely well-off individuals in Silicon Valley who,...
PART III: Emotional Geography of Invisible Work
11. The Crisis of Care
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How could any affluent country, if only out of long-term self-interest, allow so many of its children to grow up in nightmare childhoods? Ten years ago a visiting Norwegian sociologist asked me that question in an urgent and genuinely puzzled way. She had just come from a conference in San Francisco on U.S. public policy and family poverty, and she was reeling from the human import of the...
12. The Family Work of Parenting in Public
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“Parenting in public” might mean any of several quite different experiences. The note above, drawn from my observations of family groups at the community zoo, illustrates at least two aspects of the topic—the mother’s care for her infant in public and my passing observation of that care. The research I discuss here has been concerned with the family outing, and my discussion will consider the ...
13. Maternally Yours: The Emotion Work of "Maternal Visibility"
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Sharon, a thirty-four-year-old African American registered nurse with a full time job, a husband, and three children, ages one, four, and seven years, thus presents herself as successfully balancing all the parts of her many roles: professional, citizen, wife, and mother. I’ll call this “version 1” of Sharon’s presentation of herself as a working ...
14. Invisible Care and the Illusion of Independence
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Twenty minutes into the interview, Bill coughs. I notice that his voice is beginning to deteriorate. Earlier, he told me that he had a problem “dehydrating when he talks a lot.” We are in his bedroom. On a table next to him is a glass of water with a plastic top and a straw. Since he is unable to use his hands, I offer, “Um, do you want, would you like some water?” Bill raises his voice and calls,...
PART IV: Commodifying Intimate Life
15. Remaking Family through Subcontracting Care: Elder Care in Taiwanese and Hong Kong Immigrant Families
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“I told her that I hire you to help me achieve my filial duty,” Paul Wang, a sixty-year-old Taiwanese immigrant owning a software company in Silicon Valley, California, said as he recounted to me his conversation with the in-home careworker he employed for his mother suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The cultural norm of filial piety has traditionally governed intergenerational ...
16. The Viacom Generation: The Consumer Child and the Corporate Parent
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Some months after my book Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture was published, I was giving a seminar at one of the large Boston teaching hospitals. The topic was food marketing. I’d gotten into the garage elevator with a family of four, two young parents and their infant and toddler. It was midday during the week, so I assumed that whatever brought...
17. Consumption as Care and Belonging: Economies of Dignity in Children's Daily Lives
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When I asked Judy Berger, a quiet, reflective, white middle-class mother, if she regretted buying anything for her eight-year-old son, Max, it would not have been surprising had she named the Game Boy. She had just finished telling me in great detail about the extent of her son’s obsession with the electronic hand held toy and the deep misgivings she had about it. After all that, I almost felt silly asking the...
18. Interracial Intimacy on the Commodity Frontier
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A couple of years ago, as my daughter and I were watching television, an ad for the telecommunications company Verizon appeared featuring the Elliot Family. In its depiction of family life, the ad was not at all unusual—a teenage girl chatted on the phone with her friend while a young boy helped his father navigate the Internet. In its depiction of the family itself, however, the ad was not at all...
PART V. Global Care Chains
19. The Globalization-Family Nexus: Families as Mediating Structures of Globalization
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The idea of globalization is a central paradigm of our time, informing the work of a wide range of groups and interests, from scholars to economic development workers to human rights activists. Globalization refers in general terms to a trend of worldwide connectedness: “the intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped...
20. Homeland Visits: Transnational Magnified Moments among Low-Wage Immigrant Men
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This chapter examines the complex transnational dimensions and trajectories of Vietnamese low-wage immigrant men and reflects on the ways in which return visits to their homeland alter or highlight these men’s sense of masculinity and social class. Homeland return visits—the occasional or recurring sojourns made by members of migrant communities to their homeland—offer an important...
21. Childbirth at the Global Crossroads
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The auto-rickshaw driver honks his way through the dusty chaos of Anand, Gujarat, India, swerving around motorbikes, grunting trucks, and ancient large-wheeled bullock-carts packed with bags of fodder. Both sides of the street are lined with plastic trash and small piles of garbage on which untethered cows feed. The driver turns off the pavement onto a narrow, pitted dirt road, slows to...
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Farmer Zuckerman, as this book’s editors playfully remind us, was astonished to read the words “some pig” on a spiderweb in the barn on his farm. So in E. B.White’s classic children’s story, Charlotte’s Web, farmer Zuckerman thought his pig must be a miracle and decided not to kill him for market. His wiser wife, Edith Zuckerman, recognizing skill and care when she saw them, replied, “Some...
Notes on Contributors
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Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 2 tables
Publication Year: 2011
Series Title: Families in Focus
Series Editor Byline: Anita Ilta Garey, Naomi R. Gerstel, Karen V. Hansen, Rosanna Hertz, Margaret K. Nelson