by Arlie Russell Hochschild

In So How’s the Family and other Essays, Arlie Russell Hochschild—author of the groundbreaking exploration of emotional labor, The Managed Heart, The Outsourced Self, The Second Shift and The Time Bind—takes us on a journey into 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.” That would take, she argues, restoring belief in good government and tackling inequality.

Read an excerpt from So How’s the Family and other Essays.



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 and The Commercialization of Intimate Life: Notes from Home and Work.