The second shift arlie hochschild essay

Women, Ms.

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Hochschild reports, bear the brunt of what she calls a ''stalled revolution,'' one that got wives out of the home and into the first shift of paid employment but resulted in surprisingly meager change during the domestic second shift. The wife, her research confirms, typically is still the primary parent and remains ultimately responsible for keeping house.

In most marriages, the woman's paid work is still considered a mere job, in contrast to the man's career. Thus the woman's first shift - her employment - is likely to be devalued, thereby rationalizing her continuing responsibility for the second shift. The language of domestic economics, in which husbands still ''help'' wives, suggests how little conceptual change has taken place. The additional hours that working women put in on the second shift of housework, she calculates, add up to an extra month of work each year.

What distinguishes ''The Second Shift'' from what is by now a standard feminist plaint is the texture of the reporting and the subtlety of the insights. Hochschild writes with charm and wit, deftly moving back and forth between case study and generalization, in a graceful, seamless narrative. Men and women, she observes, come into marriage with implicit ''gender ideologies'' - expectations about appropriate marital roles for themselves and their mates - which are the product of their own childhoods, habits and acquired values.

But the logistical stresses and economic demands of modern marriage are such that reality seldom matches gender ideology. Much of the time, it is the wife who sacrifices her professed values in order to save her marriage. Hochschild's first, and perhaps richest, case study is of a family she calls the Holts - Nancy, a social worker, her husband Evan, a furniture salesman, and their son, Joey.

Nancy describes herself as an egalitarian, and Evan professes support for sharing the responsibilities of parenting and housework. But in practice, Evan doggedly resists. When he is on duty, domestic chores somehow don't get done. Most poignantly to the observer, the two have convinced themselves that this arrangement is fair.

Hochschild concludes, ''Nancy won on the cover story. She conspired with Evan in the myth that since he was working harder outside the home, his leisure time was more valuable than hers.

A summary of Arlie Hochschild's "The Second Shift": interesting! : SRSDiscussion

Such marriages, says Ms. Hochschild, reflect ''intricate webs of tension, and the huge, hidden emotional cost to women, men, and children.

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In her extended discussion of 10 black, white and Hispanic families, Ms. Hochschild discerns other patterns: the professional couple who resolve the problem by both becoming workaholics and hiring paid help to deal with the home; a wife who accepts her husband's tenderness and emotional support as a substitute for actual housework, apparently out of fear of divorce; a working-class couple in which the husband holds ''more traditional views on men and women'' but ''who does far more work at home with far less struggle'' out of sheer economic necessity.

In this couple, the author suggests that the wife subconsciously feigns incompetence at a number of domestic tasks in order to reconcile her husband's housework with his dignity. In one professional couple, both husband and wife make genuine career sacrifices and both work part time. Another exemplar is ''a gentle, easygoing black man, the New Man disguised as an ordinary fellow,'' who has only a high school education, has no truck with feminist ideology but simply loves being with kids and puttering around the house.

The fact that his paid job is not particularly demanding like many ''women's jobs'' gives him more reason, and more time, to take joy in his domestic impulses. In the particulars of Ms. Hochschild's stalled social revolution, social class matters immensely. Working-class couples seem to share the second shift with less fuss, but with their own set of shared self-deceptions to paper over the contradiction between expectations and reality. In principle it's easier to traverse these chasms if you're rich. After all, professionals address the conflict of home and career by hiring small armies of surrogate wives.

But as it turns out, very few use their enhanced income to purchase leisure or more time with their children. Surprisingly few husbands choose to work part time. In general, the upper-income professionals in Ms. Hochschild's sample tend to be the worst hypocrites.

Encountering Arlie Hochschild's Concept of “Emotional Labor” in

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Oct 07, Lorette rated it really liked it. Hochschild was recommended to me but my program director, based on what I was reading and writing and thinking about. I could kick myself for not having read her material earlier She speaks to me, in a sense. But it is remarkable when I read some of her work that what women were saying years ago is my reality.

The Second Shift

We haven't progressed much. If anything, our society has picked up tempo and velocity. Andrea rated it liked it Sep 23, Shraddha Chakradhar rated it liked it Jan 20, Jayde rated it it was amazing Feb 20, Marissa Meyer rated it it was amazing Jun 23, Meredith rated it really liked it Oct 01, Karl rated it liked it Jul 18, Andrew rated it it was amazing Apr 05, Ietrio rated it did not like it May 22, Andrew rated it liked it Sep 01, Vivian Brockman rated it it was amazing Aug 07, University of California Press rated it it was amazing Apr 30, Catherine Thuruthiyil marked it as to-read Oct 22, Liudmyla Beraud marked it as to-read Nov 16, Quin Rich marked it as to-read Jan 03, Cathy marked it as to-read Mar 04, Gavilan College Library added it Mar 13, Brian Feldman marked it as to-read Apr 19, Anastasia marked it as to-read Jun 17, With their impressive weave of sociological theory, ethnographic research, and analyses of popular culture, these essays are a tour de force.

Hochschild shows that the idea of the traditional nuclear family, or 'family values,' is not the solution to all our social problems, but a monumental hoax. Only major changes in the institutional context of family and work can create the conditions for the warm family life that most Americans want. She subtly traces the cultural and structural trends that have objectified and commodified intimacy, emotion, personal commitment, and family life.