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At the Heart of Work and Family

At the Heart of Work and Family: Engaging the Ideas of Arlie Hochschild

Anita Ilta Garey
Karen V. Hansen
Foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    At the Heart of Work and Family
    Book Description:

    At the Heart of Work and Family presents original research on work and family by scholars who engage and build on the conceptual framework developed by well-known sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild. These concepts, such as "the second shift," "the economy of gratitude," "emotion work," "feeling rules," "gender strategies," and "the time bind," are basic to sociology and have shaped both popular discussions and academic study. The common thread in these essays covering the gender division of housework, childcare networks, families in the global economy, and children of consumers is the incorporation of emotion, feelings, and meaning into the study of working families. These examinations, like Hochschild's own work, connect micro-level interaction to larger social and economic forces and illustrate the continued relevance of linking economic relations to emotional ones for understanding contemporary work-family life.

    eISBN: 978-0-8135-5082-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Barbara Ehrenreich

    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 academics had gone off to explore this thing called “society” and returned to report that there were nopeoplein it.

    Arlie Russell Hochschild did not single-handedly revive the dying enterprise of sociology. As this volume ably testifies,...

  4. Editors’ Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Guide to Topics
    (pp. xv-xx)
    (pp. 1-14)
    Anita Ilta Garey and Karen V. Hansen

    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 wife: “We’ve received a sign, Edith—a mysterious sign. A miracle has happened on this farm. . . . There can be no mistake about it. A miracle has happened and a...

  7. PART I Family Time Binds

    • CHAPTER 1 Inside the Clockwork of Male Careers
      (pp. 17-29)
      Arlie Russell Hochschild

      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 of two women in a department of fifty-five, a situation so common that I don’t fear for her anonymity here. She said in passing, “My husband...

      (pp. 30-42)
      Vicki Smith

      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 of us as having “alternative work arrangements.” These independent contractors, and on-call, temporary help agency, and contract company workers find common ground in the fact that they lack secure employment or predictable hours of work.

      Approximately 5 percent of the...

    • CHAPTER 3 Where Families and Children’s Activities Meet: GENDER, MESHING WORK, AND FAMILY MYTHS
      (pp. 43-60)
      Patricia Berhau, Annette Lareau and Julie E. Press

      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 (Lareau and Weininger 2008). As with other aspects of child rearing, significant numbers of hours are likely to be devoted to managing children’s leisure activities—a substantial burden, especially for those in the labor force. Hence, having children participate in such programs generates a...

    • CHAPTER 4 Emotional Carework, Gender, and the Division of Household Labor
      (pp. 61-73)
      Rebecca J. Erickson

      Emotional connection and support have been considered essential, if nottheessential, characteristics of marriage and family life since at least the midtwentieth 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 criticized, family scholars continue to confront the legacy of inequality signified by this initial description (Osmond and Thorne 1993). For example, this legacy remains evident in the well-established finding that women, even when they are employed full time, perform the bulk of routine housework and child care (Coltrane...

      (pp. 74-82)
      Rosanna Hertz

      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 tug-of-war between independence and intimacy and the difficulties it caused her in her relationships with men. She worried about marriage transforming her independence into narrowed opportunities, as it had for her mother. And when she did become involved with a man,...

  8. PART II Work/Family Feeling Rules for Managing the Heart

    • CHAPTER 6 Framing Couple Time and Togetherness among American and Norwegian Professional Couples
      (pp. 85-99)
      Jeremy Schulz

      InThe 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 from the relationship distresses his wife, Jessica. Eventually, she settles for a temporally and emotionally “downsized” relationship (Hochschild 1989). Stung by his retreat from family life, Jessica eventually puts herself at an...

      (pp. 100-111)
      Margaret K. Nelson

      In a classic piece reconsidering material taken fromThe 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 amoralframe of reference (when we ask, “How lucky am I compared to what the cultural code leads me to expect?”);¹ to ideas about current realities that derive from apragmaticframe of reference (when we ask, “How lucky am I compared to what is available to me?”); and to precedents that derive from a...

    • CHAPTER 8 The Asking Rules of Reciprocity
      (pp. 112-123)
      Karen V. Hansen

      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 concept of “feeling rules” is helpful in understanding the dynamic (1983). She defines feelings rules as those notions that “guide emotion work by establishing the sense of entitlement or obligation that governs emotional exchanges” (1983, 56). Hochschild zeroes in “on the pinch between ‘what...

      (pp. 124-135)
      Steven M. Ortiz

      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 athletes share.

      The sport marriage is a type of career-dominated marriage that is firmly embedded in the world of professional sports (Ortiz 2006). In career-dominated marriages, one spouse, usually the husband, performs a high-stress and sometimes...

    • CHAPTER 10 Emotion Work in the Age of Insecurity
      (pp. 136-146)
      Marianne Cooper

      Judging by its staying power as one of the most e-mailed news stories of the week, theNew York Timesarticle “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, despite being among the top wealth holders in the country, don’t feel totally secure, worry about the rising costs of healthcare and college, and continue to put in long hours at...

  9. PART III Emotional Geography of Invisible Work

    • CHAPTER 11 The Crisis of Care
      (pp. 149-160)
      Barrie Thorne

      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 statistics about child poverty that she had heard. I have never forgotten her question and its stark perspective on the irrationality and injustice of U.S. policies relating to children and families.


    • CHAPTER 12 The Family Work of Parenting in Public
      (pp. 161-170)
      Marjorie L. DeVault

      “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 emotion work involved in such an activity. The label, of course, is my analyst’s term. The people engaged in these activities would refer to them more casually with phrases like “doing something.” As opposed...

      (pp. 171-179)
      Anita Ilta Garey

      Sharon Baker was poised and articulate as I interviewed her about her experience of being a “working mother,” and, after telling me about her work, her future plans, her husband, and her children, she summed up by saying:

      Those are the things I feel good about. All of them. It’s like I want to give 100 percent to every aspect. I want to be 100 percent nurse, 100 percent community health nurse, 100 percent neighbor, community person, 100 percent wife, 100 percent mother—and that’s hard. But that’s what I want to do. And I feel like I do bits...

    • CHAPTER 14 Invisible Care and the Illusion of Independence
      (pp. 180-190)
      Lynn May Rivas

      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, “Joe!” Then he explains, “I have an attendant.” “Okay,” I reply. I’m disappointed, because I’m asking questions about his relationship with...

  10. PART IV Commodifying Intimate Life

    • CHAPTER 15 Remaking Family through Subcontracting Care: ELDER CARE IN TAIWANESE AND HONG KONG IMMIGRANT FAMILIES
      (pp. 193-205)
      Pei-Chia Lan

      “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 relationships in ethnic Chinese (Han) families. Yet many middle-class immigrant households from Taiwan and Hong Kong, like their American class peers of other ethnic origins, now seek services provided by nonfamily workers to care for their aging parents.¹ The commercial transfer...

      (pp. 206-216)
      Juliet B. Schor

      Some months after my bookBorn to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culturewas 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 them to the hospital was probably serious, given that both mother and father were likely taking off work to be there. I worried for them. They were a family of color, and this...

    • CHAPTER 17 Consumption as Care and Belonging: ECONOMIES OF DIGNITY IN CHILDREN’S DAILY LIVES
      (pp. 217-227)
      Allison J. Pugh

      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 GameBoy. She had just finished telling me in great detail about the extent of her son’s obsession with the electronic handheld toy and the deep misgivings she had about it. After all that, I almost felt silly asking the question—but her answer startled me. It is not that she rued buying the GameBoy for Max, she insisted. “I guess I felt almost like it wasn’t really [. ....

    • CHAPTER 18 Interracial Intimacy on the Commodity Frontier
      (pp. 228-240)
      Kimberly McClain DaCosta

      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 typical. While the father appeared to be a white man, his darker-skinned, curly-haired children did not. Upon seeing the ad, my daughter remarked, “Well you don’t seethat...

  11. PART V Global Care Chains

      (pp. 243-249)
      Nazli Kibria

      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 by events occurring many miles away and vice-versa” (Giddens 1990, 64). Whether through the expansion of the global economy or the development of an intensified consciousness of the world as a whole, globalization is broadly about the global...

      (pp. 250-261)
      Hung Cam Thai

      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 window into understanding how immigrant men make sense of their family and work as they organize transnational lives, forming relationships linking together their country of origin and their country of settlement, a process that has been given much attention among scholars of migration...

    • CHAPTER 21 Childbirth at the Global Crossroads
      (pp. 262-268)
      Arlie Russell Hochschild

      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 circumvent a pair of black and white spotted goats, and stops outside a dusty courtyard. To one side stands a modest white building with a sign that reads, in English and Gujarati, “Akanksha Clinic.”

      Two dozen dainty Indian...

  12. Afterword
    (pp. 269-272)
    Arlie Russell Hochschild

    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, “Somespider.” In this extraordinary volume, the editors and authors apply a keen Edith Zuckerman–like eye to family and work life in America and beyond.

    Over the years, in my office at...

  13. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 273-278)