In this new collection of thirteen essays, Arlie Russell Hochschild—author of the groundbreaking exploration of emotional labor, The Managed Heart and The Outsourced Self—focuses squarely on the impact of social forces on the emotional side of intimate life.
From the “work” it takes to keep personal life personal, put feeling into work, and empathize with others; to the cultural “blur” between market and home; the effect of a social class gap on family wellbeing; and the movement of care workers around the globe, Hochschild raises deep questions about the modern age. In an eponymous essay, she even points towards a possible future in which a person asking “How’s the family?” hears the proud answer, “Couldn’t be better.”
THE FEEL OF THINGS
1. Going on Attachment Alert
2. Can Emotional Labor Be Fun?
3. Empathy Maps
FAMILIES, CLASS GAPS, AND TIME
4. So How’s the Family?
5. Time Strategies
6. The Diplomat’s Wife
BOUNDARIES AND BLURS, MARKET AND HOME
7. The Personalized Market and the Marketized Self (with Sarah Garrett)
8. At Home in the Office (with Barrie Thorne)
WOMEN ON THE GLOBAL BACKSTAGE
10. Two-Way Global Traffic in Care
11. Children Left Behind (with S. Uma Devi and Lise Isaksen)
12. The Surrogate’s Womb
Arlie Hochschild is Professor Emerita of Sociology at UC Berkeley; she is a leading postwar feminist and the author of numerous books, including The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling.
"No one understands contemporary family life better than Arlie Hochschild. With compelling insight, passionate conviction, and graceful style, her essays help us decipher our increasingly complex personal lives." —Viviana A. Zelizer, author of Economic Lives: How Culture Shapes the Economy
"Firmly grounded in the best traditions of sociology, Hochschild offers finely drawn portraits of social situations that are as achingly familiar and yet as strangely disturbing as Annie Liebowitz’s close-ups of celebrity faces. Her characterization of the commercialization of intimate life – how, for example, the search for emotional connection has morphed into a branding exercise in the Internet era – is a simple and powerful dissection that force the reader to think long and hard about her underlying questions.”
Rosanna Hertz, Wellesley College, author of Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice.
"What could be more interesting, and fun to read, then a compilation of essays by one of the most important sociologists of the 20th Century? Arlie Hochschild identified emotional labor decades ago, and now that insight is so vitally integrated into our sociological perspective that she is often no longer even cited when her brilliant contribution is used. Here we have, in one place, essays she has written throughout her career, with the gift of a few new ones thrown in as well. The essays cover how the personal is political in personal life, and at the same time, the centrality of transnational labor for issues of justice. This is a collection that should be on every sociologist's shelf, long after its pages are well-worn, underlined, with notations in the margins, to identify those gems we don’t want to ever forget."—Barbara J. Risman, Professor and Head, Department of Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago
"With penetrating insight, Arlie Hochschild’s newest collection So How’s the Family? pulls together new and revised essays to illuminate the shifting boundaries between market and home. Using the kind of market metaphor she so carefully unravels, we might say this book increases our debt: Once again, we owe much to Hochschild for writing a book with dazzling vision."—Naomi Gerstel, Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst