From the famed author of the bestselling The Second Shift and The Time Bind, a pathbreaking look at the transformation of private life in our for-profit world
The family has long been a haven in a heartless world, the one place immune to market forces and economic calculations, where the personal, the private, and the emotional hold sway. Yet as Arlie Russell Hochschild shows in The Outsourced Self, that is no longer the case: everything that was once part of private life—love, friendship, child rearing—is being transformed into packaged expertise to be sold back to confused, harried Americans.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews and original research, Hochschild follows the incursions of the market into every stage of intimate life. From dating services that train you to be the CEO of your love life to wedding planners who create a couple's "personal narrative"; from nameologists (who help you name your child) to wantologists (who help you name your goals); from commercial surrogate farms in India to hired mourners who will scatter your loved one's ashes in the ocean of your choice—Hochschild reveals a world in which the most intuitive and emotional of human acts have become work for hire.
Sharp and clear-eyed, Hochschild is full of sympathy for overstressed, outsourcing Americans, even as she warns of the market's threat to the personal realm they are striving so hard to preserve.
About Arlie Russell HochschildSee more books from this Author
All of this has the makings of an amusing, quasi-satirical commentary, in the fashion of Evelyn Waugh and Tom Wolfe, on a society bloated with prosperity and unmoored from traditional religion and traditional cultural expectations that used to require people, for example, to name their children after relatives or historical and literary figures.Read Full Review of The Outsourced Self | See more reviews from WSJ online
...it doesn't provide a measurable sense of how pervasive personal outsourcing is or who among us does it.Read Full Review of The Outsourced Self
Definitely a chilling thought, and one that warrants further consideration, thanks to Hochschild's keen, unblinking eye.Read Full Review of The Outsourced Self
And unfortunately, Hochschild offers little of the gravitas that has made The Theory of the Leisure Class essential reading for more than a century.Read Full Review of The Outsourced Self
It felt like watching some mediocre cop show from the 70s where one cop is always the bad cop.Read Full Review of The Outsourced Self
Sharp and clear-eyed, Hochschild is full of sympathy for overstressed, outsourcing Americans, even as she warns of the market’s threat to the personal realm they are striving so hard to preserve.Read Full Review of The Outsourced Self
Best of all, this is a book that reads well and almost too easily, so the ideas Hochschild deals with creep up slowly, then explode with great power.Read Full Review of The Outsourced Self
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