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The Second Shift Paperback – May, 1997

3.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As more women work outside the home (54% in 1986) more tensions arise within their families. In this study of two-career parents, Hochschild, professor of sociology at UC Berkeley and herself a dual-career parent, identifies as "second shift" the domestic activity that occupies parents before they go to and after they return from office or shop. Conducted from 1981-1988, her interviews with working parents with children under age six reveal the inner lives of these families. We hear from women who are lawyers, executives, word processors, garment pattern cutters--and from their husbands, baby-sitters, friends and neighbors. There is agreement as to the difficulty of both parents working full time and raising children well; however, the perceptions of which partner shoulders prime responsibility vary. Even in self-perceived egalitarian couples, inequity appears, with women generally spending much more time than men on housework and childcare. This well-researched popular sociology book is presented with style and sympathy.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A sociological study of the two-career family. Hochschild conducted detailed interviews and home observations of 50 working couples raising children under six years of age to see how they balanced careers, household, and child-rearing tasks. The results yield no surprises. As we already know, women do the bulk of the housework and child care in addition to their outside jobs. Men contribute in varying degrees, but, in general help out less in the home. Couples are either traditional, transitional, or egalitarian, based on the way they divide these responsibilities and balance the power in their relationships. Phillip Blumstein and Pepper Schwartz's American Couples: Money, Work, Sex (LJ 10/15/83), as well as numerous articles, have told us these things already, but social science, women's studies, and public library collections may want to add this book. The extensive bibliography is quite useful.
- Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 325 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books; Reprint edition (May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380711575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380711574
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,450,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a college-age male, one might think that I would have little reason to read a study about the struggles of working women. That is wrong.
This insightful, modest study of family life (witnessed by the capable Arlie Hochschild as a fly-on-the-wall) gives perspective on a dillemma everyone should think about before marriage: how to reconcile economic and personal needs with having children. This problem affects women and men, mothers and fathers.
Unfortunately, it is rarely talked about. People are forced to muddle through using their parents as examples, or to try to construct new strategies from scratch. Hochschild provides a useful structure for discussing the problem and avoiding the emotional and marital cost of relying on "myths." Any serious couple should be able to talk about these subjects to avoid misunderstanding and conflict.
One problem with this book is the writing - the points do not always flow together, and sometimes the sentences are simply awkward. This study is also weighted toward middle class families, though it explores others as well. Despite being over a decade old, this book is still relevant.
Well worth reading, whether you are deciding on a career, getting married, or already trying to balance both.
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By A Customer on September 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
Hochschild's book is a superb description of what so many of of us live but barely understand. She examines the demands of work in the home and outside, the gender identities that shape our feeling toward work, the goals that shape our chices and the intentions that define our commununication about responsiblity. The author validates the struggle of working women, without bashing men and talks about how to resolve the "stalled revolution" of shared responsibility both at home and in the workplace. Most importantly, Hochschild illuminates how our methods of dealing with the second shift, not the second shift itself per se, negatively impact our children.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arlie Russell Hochschild is professor emerita of sociology at UC Berkeley; she also wrote books such as The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work, Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy, The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, The Outsourced Self: What Happens When We Pay Others to Live Our Lives for Us, So How's the Family?: And Other Essays, The Commercialization of Intimate Life: Notes from Home and Work, etc. [NOTE: page numbers below refer to the 309-page 1989 hardcover edition.]

She wrote in the Preface of this 1989 book, “As things stand now… The Housewife pays a cost by remaining outside the streams of social life. The career woman pays a cost by entering a clockwork of careers that permits little time of emotional energy to raise a family… because [her career] was originally designed to suit a traditional man whose wife raised his children.
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By A Customer on June 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book, which voices something that has been long silent, explains how women have been overburdened as a result of living in a world which no longer accepts part-time work. Even though women have resulted in incredible gains in the latter half of the 20th century, and have gained enfranchisement into many careers that were formerly only the domain of men, there still lurks the job of being a mother, which is NOT a part-time job. This book is highly recommended, not for only the truth and candor that it tells, but for the questions that it poses.
Dexter Fabi
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Format: Paperback
If you have kids, carreer, and a husband, you must read this enlightning social probe into the lives of families just like yours. You will feel 'comfort' knowing that you are not alone if you are feeling crazy, anxious, or overwhelmed. Before you quit your job, or think of having another child.....Read this!!!
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