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In her remarkable new book, the author of The Second Shift brings readers startling news of the ways in which home is being invaded by the time pressures and efficiencies of work, while the workplace is, for many parents, being transformed into a...
In her remarkable new book, the author of The Second Shift brings readers startling news of the ways in which home is being invaded by the time pressures and efficiencies of work, while the workplace is, for many parents, being transformed into a strange kind of surrogate home. 320 pp. National author tour. National ads. TV satellite tour. 50,000 print.
Sociologist Hochschild (Univ. of Calif., Berkeley) observes a large corporation ostensibly committed to "family-friendly" policies and outlines a familiar story: The excessive demands of work create stresses at home because there is insufficient time to do everything. This is especially hard on women, who, as Hochschild documented in The Second Shift (1989), bear the brunt of housekeeping chores, and on children, whose emotional needs require time with parents. Except for some older men, the people Hochschild interviews are aware of and concerned about the implications of this time bind. What is surprising, consequently, is their failure to embrace reduced workloads, flex time, and other components of the company's effort to help employees balance the demands of work and home. While supporting the existence of these policies, few employees take advantage of them. Fears about job security and career advancement are present, of course, but many employees were uninterested in such options because they perceived work, not home, as the less stressful and more emotionally rich environment. With family lives careening on the brink of disaster and parents feeling perpetually out of control, the office or factory floor provides a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, and camaraderie. Unfortunately, after uncovering this surprising reversal of conventional expectations, Hochschild buries it by simply assuming it is a pathology. Escaping from the home by going to work reflects a dynamic with costs, but it also suggests a need to reconsider common conceptions of what constitutes a satisfying adult life.
The disappointing failure to press forward with her observations does not prevent this from being a provocative book.
|1||The Waving Window||3|
|2||Managed Values and Long Days||15|
|3||An Angel of an Idea||25|
|4||Family Values and Reversed Worlds||35|
|5||Giving at the Office||55|
|6||The Administrative Mother||73|
|7||"All My Friends Are Worker Bees": Being a Part-Time Professional||85|
|8||"I'm Still Married": Work as an Escape Valve||103|
|9||"Catching Up on the Soaps": Male Pioneers in the Culture of Time||115|
|10||What If the Boss Says No?||133|
|11||"I Want Them to Grow Up to Be Good Single Moms"||145|
|12||The Overextended Family||163|
|14||The Third Shift||197|
|15||Evading the Time Bind||219|
Posted October 3, 2011
No text was provided for this review.