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The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Workby Arlie Russell Hochschild
Synopses & Reviews
The national bestseller that put "work/family balance" in the headlines and on the White House agenda, with a new introduction by the author.
When The Time Bind was first published in 1997, it was hailed as the decade's most influential study of our work/family crisis. In the short time since, the crisis has only become more acute.
Arlie Russell Hochschild, bestselling author of The Second Shift, spent three summers at a Fortune 500 company interviewing top executives, secretaries, factory hands, and others. What she found was startling: Though every mother and nearly every father said "family comes first," few of these working parents questioned their long hours or took the company up on chances for flextime, paternity leave, or other "family friendly" policies. Why not? It seems the roles of home and work had reversed: work was offering stimulation, guidance, and a sense of belonging, while home had become the place in which there was too much to do in too little time.
Today Hochschild's findings are more relevant than ever. As she shows in her new introduction, the borders between family and work have become even more permeable. With the Internet extending working hours at home and offices offering domestic enticements — free snacks, soft music — to keep employees later at their jobs, The Time Bind stands as an increasingly important warning about the way we live and work.
The Time Bind is one of this decade's most influential studies of our work/family time-dilemma. For three years at a Fortune 500 company, Arlie Russell Hochschild, the best-selling author of The Second Shift, interviewed everyone from top executives to factory hands. What she found was startling news: none of these working parents was taking the company up on chances for flex-time, paternity leave, or other "family-friendly policies." Instead, they were fleeing homes invaded by the pressures of work, while the workplace seemed transformed into a strange kind of surrogate home. Hochschild paints a picture of spouses as efficiency experts, children as emotional bill-collectors, and parents who feel like helpful mentors mainly to their workmates. "An important, provocative, ground-breaking analysis" (Newsweek), The Time Bind exposes the rifts in our crunch-time world and reveals how the way we live and work isn't working anymore.
A New York Times Notable Book
Includes bibliographical references (p. 291-307) and index.
About the Author
Arlie Russell Hochschild, a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-director of The Center for Working Families, is the author of The Second Shift and The Managed Heart. Her articles have appeared in Harpers, Mother Jones, and Psychology Today, among others.
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