The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times

Overview

From the famed author of the bestselling The Second Shift and The Time Bind, a pathbreaking look at the transformation of private life in our for-profit world

The family has long been a haven in a heartless world, the one place immune to market forces and economic calculations, where the personal, the private, and the emotional hold sway. Yet as Arlie Russell Hochschild shows in The Outsourced Self, that is no longer the case: everything that was once part of private life—love, ...

See more details below
Hardcover (First Edition)
$19.28
BN.com price
(Save 28%)$27.00 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (46) from $1.99   
  • New (14) from $4.40   
  • Used (32) from $1.99   
The Outsourced Self: What Happens When We Pay Others to Live Our Lives for Us

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

From the famed author of the bestselling The Second Shift and The Time Bind, a pathbreaking look at the transformation of private life in our for-profit world

The family has long been a haven in a heartless world, the one place immune to market forces and economic calculations, where the personal, the private, and the emotional hold sway. Yet as Arlie Russell Hochschild shows in The Outsourced Self, that is no longer the case: everything that was once part of private life—love, friendship, child rearing—is being transformed into packaged expertise to be sold back to confused, harried Americans.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews and original research, Hochschild follows the incursions of the market into every stage of intimate life. From dating services that train you to be the CEO of your love life to wedding planners who create a couple's "personal narrative"; from nameologists (who help you name your child) to wantologists (who help you name your goals); from commercial surrogate farms in India to hired mourners who will scatter your loved one's ashes in the ocean of your choice—Hochschild reveals a world in which the most intuitive and emotional of human acts have become work for hire.

Sharp and clear-eyed, Hochschild is full of sympathy for overstressed, outsourcing Americans, even as she warns of the market's threat to the personal realm they are striving so hard to preserve.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It used to take a village, but these days it takes a full-service mall, much of it in cyberspace. Finding a mate, planning a wedding, potty-training a child, or being a better father—once intuitive, ordinary tasks involving family, friends, and neighbors—now require the services of paid experts, trainers, and a plethora of coaches, such as Internet dating coach Evan Katz, aka e-Cyrano, or Family360, which teaches executives to “invest time and attention in ‘high leverage’ family activities.” Incisive, provocative, and often downright entertaining, U.C. Berkeley sociologist Hochschild (The Second Shift) compares Turner, Maine—the self-sufficient farming village where she spent summers as a child—with the global marketplace, where it’s possible to outsource burials at sea. Hochschild’s most compelling chapters center on surrogate motherhood: at India’s Akanksha Clinic (the world’s largest group of commercial surrogates), surrogates are instructed to think of their wombs as “carriers, bags, suitcases, something exterior to themselves,” and are forbidden to breast feed the babies they’re paid to carry for strangers. Hochschild makes the trenchant observation that many pressing for a greater expansion of the free market, gutting of regulations, and cuts in social services are the same people who call for stronger family values, perhaps unaware of the way the market distorts them. Agent: Georges Borchardt, Georges Borchardt, Inc. (May)
From the Publisher
"Incisive, provocative, and often downright entertaining...It used to take a village, but these days it takes a full-service mall, much of it in cyberspace. Finding a mate, planning a wedding, potty-training a child, or being a better father—once intuitive, ordinary tasks involving family, friends, and neighbors—now require the services of paid experts, trainers, and a plethora of coaches, such as Internet dating coach Evan Katz, aka e-Cyrano, or Family360, which teaches executives to “invest time and attention in ‘high leverage’ family activities.” Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“What happens to us as we outsource more and more of our personal—even intimate—tasks to paid "coaches," caretakers, companions, event planners and third world surrogate mothers? It takes a social thinker of great stature and scope to tackle this question, and a writer of immense charm to make the answer riveting. Arlie Hochschild is both, and this may be her best book ever.” –Barbara Ehrenreich

"The nation's leading sociologist of daily life has turned her razor-sharp eye to rapid advance of the commodity frontier. Exposing both extreme (love coaches, wantologists) and ordinary (elder care, party planners) cases, Hochschild has produced a  brilliant, compelling, and hard-to-put-down account of the expansion of market logic and its effects on our culture. This book deserves the country's attention." –Juliet Schor, author of Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth

“What have we given up, Arlie Hochschild worries, when we start paying experts for our most intimate activities? Taking us into a fascinating tour of love coaches, wedding planners, surrogate mothers and more, Hochschild offers her own compelling and controversial answers. Another triumph from this masterful social analyst and a gift to her legion of readers.” –Viviana Zelizer, author of The Purchase of Intimacy

Library Journal
Hochschild (sociology, Univ. of California, Berkeley; The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling) examines the myriad ways that Americans "outsource" their personal lives in the 21st century. The book details the cradle-to-grave hired help that we have come to rely on in aspects of our lives that were previously part of our private sphere, from "love coaches" advising online daters to surrogate mothers, from nannies to professional mourners; it doesn't take a village to raise a child anymore, just a credit card. Deftly woven into this tale about the marketization of private lives is the story of Hochschild's aging aunt Elizabeth. From her childhood in a traditional small town where everyone helped each other up to her fragile older years when the author struggled to find a paid caretaker for her, Aunt Elizabeth's life shows both a counterpoint to, and then the ultimate victory of, the commodification of modern family life. VERDICT Readers will be surprised, and perhaps dismayed, at how much they themselves have already outsourced their own lives. Highly recommended to all interested in our 21st-century mores.—Duncan Stewart, Univ. of Iowa Libs., Iowa City
Library Journal
As evidenced by highly regarded books like The Second Shift and The Time Bind, distinguished sociologist Hochschild always manages to catch the zeitgeist. Now, in her first big book in 15 years, she considers how market forces have intruded into our private lives. Sobering reading that echoes Michael J. Sandel's urgent message in What Money Can't Buy. But buy this.
Kirkus Reviews
An eminent sociologist explores how service-for-pay is replacing the support of family members, friends and neighbors, and how this shift is impacting lives. Hochschild (Sociology/Univ. of California, Berkeley; The Commercialization of Intimate Life, 2003, etc.) approaches her subject from three directions: her personal experience, the stories of providers of an array of services and the stories of people who sought their services. Some of the services, such as child care, have been around for a long time; others, such as online dating and wedding planning, are more recent inventions. The author examines every stage of life, from birth to death. Hochschild interviewed women who act as surrogate mothers for infertile couples, as well as those who hire others to bear children for them; she talked to a man who has made a business of scattering the ashes of the dead. She also looks at people who help women select a wedding gown, help a couple choose a baby's name and teach a man how to become a better father. There are even "rent-a-friend" services. Perhaps the most surprising service that she uncovered is that of a wantologist, who "helps you name your goals." Hochschild's personal story, which she returns to from time to time, is a far more common one--that of trying to find the right care for an elderly ailing relative. The book, chock-full of quotes from the numerous people she interviewed, has a casual and at times almost gossipy feel, and the author gives short shrift to what all this means and how we are dealing with it. Anecdote-rich, analysis-poor--more a series of snapshots than sociological study.
Judith Shulevitz
…Hochschild isn't really interested in the extremes of the outsourced life. She wants to know what it feels like to be caught in the middle of it. An ethnographic sociologist rather than a quantifier of social trends, Hochschild elicits thoughtful reflections from ordinary people. Then she uses those reflections to chart the confusing intersections between commerce and private life that we all have to navigate now that the purveyors of personal assistance have built strip malls on nearly every acre of our inner selves…Hochschild's big contribution…is to tally the subtler costs of outsourcing: the "de­personalization of our bonds with others," the failure to enjoy the process of finding love or planning a wedding, the missing out on one's children's childhoods—all the little nontragedies that add up to a thinner, sadder life.
—The New York Times Book Review
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805088892
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Arlie Russell Hochschild is the author of The Time Bind, The Second Shift, and The Managed Heart. She is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, Her articles have appeared in Harper's, Mother Jones, and Psychology Today, among others. She lives in San Francisco.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: Villager and Outsourcer 1

1 You Have Three Seconds 19

2 The Legend of the Lemon Tree 42

3 For as Long as You Both Shall Live 57

4 Our Baby, Her Womb 71

5 My Womb, Their Baby 87

6 It Takes a Service Mall 104

7 Making Five-Year-Olds Laugh Is Harder Than You Think 119

8 A High Score in Family Memory Creation 131

9 Importing Family Values 146

10 I Was Invisible to Myself 157

11 Nolan Enjoys My Father for Me 172

12 Anything You Pay For Is Better 183

13 I Would Have Done It If She'd Been My Mother 198

14 Endings 212

Conclusion: The Wantologist 219

Notes 229

Bibliography 265

Acknowledgments 287

Index 291

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)