Hochschild, Arlie Russell 1940–
Hochschild, Arlie Russell 1940–
PERSONAL: Born January 15, 1940, in Boston, MA; daughter of Francis Henry (a diplomat) and Ruth (Libbey) Russell; married Adam Marquand Hochschild (a magazine editor), June 26, 1965; children: David Russell, Gabriel Russell. Education: Swarthmore College, B.A., 1962; University of California, Berkeley, M.A., 1965, Ph.D., 1969. Politics: "Left/Liberal." Religion: Agnostic.
CAREER: Writer and professor. University of California, Santa Cruz, assistant professor of sociology, 1969–71; University of California, Berkeley, assistant professor, 1971–75, associate professor, 1975–83, professor of sociology, 1983–, acting chair of sociology department, 1978–79, Center of Working Families, director, 1997–99, co-director, 1999–2001. Institute for Social Change at the University of California, Berkeley, member of advisory committee, 1984–86, and 1993–94, chair, 1995–96; Ford Foundation Work Family Collaborative Research Project, New York, NY, advisor, 1991–97; Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA, E.M. Lang visiting professor, fall, 1992; American Prospect and Gender and Society, member of board of editors; Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Studies, Stanford University, fellow.
MEMBER: American Sociological Association, Sociologists for Women in Society, American Gerontological Society, American Federation of Teachers, Sociological Research Association, International Association for Research on Emotion.
AWARDS, HONORS: Outstanding Teacher Award, University of California, Berkeley, 1968; Guggenheim Memorial fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1976–77; Charles Cooley Award, Social Psychology Section of American Sociological Association, for The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling; Notable Book of the Year in Social Sciences awards, New York Times Book Review, 1983, and 1989; Ford Foundation grantee, 1990–91; Distinguished Achievement Award for Bay Area Women Writers, National Women's Political Caucus, 1991; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grants, 1993–95, and 1997; Swarthmore College, Honorary Doctor of Philosophy, 1992; selected for Outstanding Women at University of California Berkeley Hall of Fame, 1995; Wilhelm Aubert Award, Sociology Department of University of Oslo, 1996; Fulbright Scholarship, 1997–98; honorary Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oslo, 2000; Award for Public Understanding of Sociology, American Sociological Association, 2000; Lifetime Achievement Award, Sociology of Emotions Section, American Sociological Association, 2001; Distinguished Teaching Award for Division of Social Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, 2000–01.
The Unexpected Community: Portrait of an Old Age Subculture, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1973, 2nd edition, 1978.
The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1983, 20th anniversary edition with new afterword, 2003.
(With Anne Machung) The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home, Viking (New York, NY), 1989, reprint edition, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 2003.
The Time Bind: When Work becomes Home and Home becomes Work, Holt (New York, NY), 1997.
The Commercialization of Intimate Life: Notes from Home and Work, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2003.
(Editor, with Barbara Ehrenreich) Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy, University of Metropolitan Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Coleen, the Question Girl (children's story), Feminist Press (New York, NY), 1973.
Contributor to books, including Beyond Goffman: Institutions and Interactions, edited by Steven Riggins, Mouton (Paris, France, and Berlin, Germany), 1989; Gender and the Academic Experience: Berkeley Women, 1952–1972, edited by Kathryn P. Meadow and Ruth A. Wallace, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 1993; Gender Identities in Public and Private: New Research Perspectives, edited by Lydia Morris and E. Stina Lyon, MacMillan (New York, NY), 1996; On the Edge: Globalization and the New Millennium, edited by Tony Giddens and Will Hutton, Sage Publishers (Copenhagen, Denmark), 2000; Enriching the Art of Care with the Science of Care: Emotional and Interpersonal Dimensions of Health Services, edited by Laurette Dubé and D.S. Moskowitz, McGill Queen's University Press (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 2000; Self, Social Structure, and Beliefs: Essays in Sociology, edited by Jeff Alexander, Gary Marx, and Christine Williams, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2004; The New York Society, edited by Michael Hviid Jacobsen and Jens Tonboe, Hans Reitzels Publisher (Copenhagen, Denmark), 2004.
Contributor to newspapers, periodicals, professional journals, and academic journals, including the American Prospect, International Journal of Work, Organization and Emotion, European Journal of Psychotherapy, Social Science Quarterly, Soundings, American Prospect, Atlantic Monthly, O Magazine, New York Times, Ms. Magazine, Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State, and Society, Contemporary Anthropology, Sociological Inquiry, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Society, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Los Angeles Times, New York Times Book Review, Women's Review of Books and Contemporary Sociology.
Author's works have been translated into German, Danish, Norwegian, Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic, Korean, and Chinese.
SIDELIGHTS: Sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild gave the world an illuminating and sometimes disturbing picture of the heavy workload shouldered by modern women in her study The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home. Through careful study and analysis of fifty couples, she showed that—in addition to maintaining the demanding careers they started before becoming mothers—most women do about seventy-five percent of the housework in their homes and eighty percent of the child-care tasks in their families. In other words, after putting in a full day at the office, they also come home to work a "second shift" that adds up to an entire month of twenty-four-hour work days each year.
Hochschild's study had its genesis years before its publication, when the author was working as an untenured assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley. In order to hold on to her position at the school and continue to nurse her infant son, she began bringing the child to her office. Although those around her were mostly supportive of the arrangement, Hochschild felt unsure of her ability to maintain her professional image under those circumstances. She questioned why she should feel that way, and why her male colleagues never seemed to have to struggle to balance career and family responsibilities.
While pondering these issues, Hochschild was working on her first book, The Unexpected Community: Portrait of an Old Age Subculture. Based on data gathered in 1969 for her Ph.D. thesis, the book examines the lives of forty-three elderly people living in a lower-income housing project. Facing rejection from a youth-oriented society, these people banded together to help each other through the difficulties of their daily lives. Though it was an academic study, The Unexpected Community was characterized by reviewers as a straightforward book suitable for reading by general audiences.
Hochschild's writing was again noted with her second publication, The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, which was called "lively and stimulating" by Marcia Millman in the Nation. In this book, the author presents the concept of "emotional labor," in which people are paid to suppress their authentic feelings and sell synthetic emotions as commodities. The basis for her book was a study she conducted on airline attendants, both at work and in their training classes. At the time of the study, airlines were freer to recruit distinct types of women and use them as emblems of the sexualized images they wished their companies to project. Thus United Airlines hired women who looked like the "girl next door"; Pan Am looked for those who could portray a sophisticated, upper-class type; and Pacific Southwest sought out candidates who appeared to be brassy, sexy, and fun-loving. The stress of fitting into these artificial roles caused many attendants to experience emotional numbness and dissociation. In The Managed Heart, Hochschild proposed that teachers, nurses, and many other workers were also paid to play out roles requiring them to suppress their true feelings and do a considerable amount of acting.
"Hochschild's book is interesting on a number of levels," reported Millman. "Its greatest value lies in its complex exploration of the nature of emotion…. Hochschild plays with a wide range of approaches to understanding emotion, and adds an important dimension by showing how feeling has become another form of work." Like The Unexpected Community, The Managed Heart was widely acknowledged for its readability; Gail Sheehy commented in the New York Times Book Review that it "is written so accessibly that it appeals to both the academic and the general reader."
Hochschild proved her ability to attract mainstream audiences when The Second Shift was published in 1989. The book, which was reported by Jim Miller in Newsweek as having "some of the detail and texture of a good novel," provoked a great deal of media attention with its claim that the women's revolution had actually increased inequity for women. Some reviewers pointed out that even though Hochschild is a declared feminist, she had actually supplied ammunition for conservative traditionalists who believe that women should never have entered the workplace. Her studies showed that even in couples who thought they shared domestic duties fairly, the women almost always carried a disproportionately large share of the burden. In one family that Hochschild observed, the wife was responsible for the household, finances, and children; the husband, in contrast, took care of the car and the dog, and believed that he was contributing equally to their domestic life. Hochschild noted that even when the women were aware of the disparity, they tended to hold their tongues and live with it rather than increase tensions with their mates by fighting to strike a better balance.
Like The Second Shift, The Time Bind: When Work becomes Home and Home becomes Work, Hochschild's next book, was considered a provocative analysis of a problem felt to be increasingly experienced in late-twentieth-century American lives, in this case the imbalance of time allotted to work and family. Based on three summers' research with employees at all levels of a Midwestern company touted as one of the most family-friendly in the nation, The Time Bind found that men and women at all levels of employment generally failed to take advantage of the company's lenient policies intended to ease the strain of work on family. Most controversial of all was Hochschild's contention that rather than a consequence of economic need, people were actually extending their work days at the expense of time spent with spouses, and most of all with children, out of choice. With the advent of team work and improved work environments, work can be a pleasurable respite from the emotional demands of a messy home life complicated by divorce and blended families, according to the author. "Her conclusion is that, even here, children are becoming the ultimate victims of a society that values economic output above all else," explained Kirstin Downey Grimsley in the Washington Post.
The response to Hochschild's thesis was intense, generating praise and censure from both ends of the political spectrum. While some conservatives applauded Hochschild's research, claiming that it provided concrete evidence that the influx of women into the workplace, often seen as one of the gains of modern feminism, is detrimental to children and the family, other, equally conservative, commentators, denigrated the author's call for a shorter work week and pointed out that her sample group is not representative of society as a whole. "Men and (especially) women with MBAs doing well at a high-powered company are, for self-selecting reasons, among society's least likely candidates to curtail careers for family life," noted Lisa Schiffren in the Wall Street Journal. A number of reviewers, on the other hand, including those who faulted The Time Bind for various reasons, admitted that there was a kernel of truth to her argument. "Ms. Hochschild has exposed something that feels like an unacknowledged home truth, America's clean little secret," wrote Nicholas Lemann in the New York Times Book Review, "work, not even the substance of it but the buzzy surface feeling of office life, is for many of us a source of intense pleasure."
"Sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild is one of a privileged breed, an academic with a popular following," wrote Suzanne Mantell in Publishers Weekly. Mantell noted that the concept "second shift," which Hochschild invented, has entered the language as a truism about American life. "If Hochschild's time bind—meaning the crushing lack of time we collectively experience at home—becomes a term as familiar, it will be a tribute to her meticulous description of the situation," Mantell continued.
Not all of Hochschild's reviewers agreed with this description of the merits of the author's prose—Schiffren dubbed Hochschild's language "overwrought"—nor would they all proclaim the universal applicability of the author's diagnosis of what is wrong. Nevertheless, "as The Time Bind helpfully documents, the notion that men and women can easily balance the demanding responsibilities of job and family has proved, at least for a good many people, a damaging myth," concluded Leslie Lenkowsky in Commentary.
Hochschild looks at a related topic in The Commercialization of Intimate Life: Notes from Home and Work, a collection of seventeen of the author's essays written over twenty-five years. Some of the essays explore how much people's personal lives, especially family time and relationships, are being influenced by, if not controlled by, corporate forces. Other essays look at the way self-help books and ads can be used to measure changes in culture, as well as their effect on feminism and women's home lives. Another significant topic is parents leaving their children in the care of others. Hochschild considers American workers who will not take needed parental leaves despite their availability, as well as poor women who leave their native countries to find employment in countries like the United States as caregivers for children. These women often are forced to leave their own children behind and in the care of others. David D. Franks in Social Forces noted, "This is first-rate work."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Best Sellers, Volume 4, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1989.
Commentary, September, 1997, Leslie Lenkowsky, review of The Time Bind: When Work becomes Home and Home becomes Work, p. 71.
Nation, December 31, 1983, Marcia Millman, review of The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, pp. 703-706.
Newsweek, July 31, 1989, Jim Miller, review of The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home, p. 65.
New York Times Book Review, October 23, 1983, Gail Sheehy, review of The Managed Heart, Section 7, p. 7; May 11, 1997, Nicholas Lemann, review of The Time Bind, p. 8.
Publishers Weekly, May 5, 1997, Suzanne Mantell, "Arlie Hochschild: When Work and Family Clash," interview with Arlie Russell Hochschild, p. 182.
Social Forces, December, 2004, David D. Franks, review of The Commercialization of Intimate Life: Notes from Home and Work, p. 867.
Wall Street Journal, July 2, 1997, Lisa Schiffren, review of The Time Bind, p. A12.
Washington Post, May 18, 1997, Kirstin Downey Grimsley, review of The Time Bind, p. H4.
University of California, Berkeley Web site, http://www.berkeley.edu/ (November 7, 2005), biography of Arlie Russell Hochschild.