The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times

The Outsourced Self Intimate Life in Market Times 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 worldThe family has long been a haven in a hear

  • Title: The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times
  • Author: Arlie Russell Hochschild
  • ISBN: 9780805088892
  • Page: 281
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 worldThe 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 shoFrom 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 worldThe 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.

    One thought on “The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times”

    1. This book had much that I was expecting (which is why I bought it) and some that I wasn't expecting (which is why I had to read it to know what it says), and omitted some of what I was looking for.I was looking for more of the universal outsourcing, but this book was mostly about wealthy people hiring middle class people to tend to luxuries. Outsourcing kids birthday party planning (and the disastrous daddy-done party by comparison), the wedding planner, the grandma-visitor, etc. are evidence of [...]

    2. I've been a fan of Arlie Hochschild's sociological research for years. This book continued to be well-written for more than just an academic audience. I highly recommend it. For my longer review, you can see my blog post on it.jackofallbooks.wordpress/2

    3. A great non-fiction book about how we are increasingly outsourcing basic household/life tasks, and with it are outsourcing the need to feel or show emotions. It gives an intimate look into how the nuclear family is changing our perception of caring for and about others.However, the biographical story-line that tries to connect the different parts of the book falls a little short.

    4. Disclaimer: I received an ARC (Advanced review copy) of this book.Years ago in a sociology course, we discussed the mythology of convenience. In particular, the myth versus the reality of the washing machine. A convenience that was suppose to help reduce the amount of time required to do laundry that ended up increasing it. As a child, we didn't have washing and dryer in the home. So we had to go to the Laundromat once a week. That meant we had "school clothes" (which would get removed and hung [...]

    5. The premise of The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times is that Americans are increasingly turning to the Free Market to meet intimate needs formerly met by friends and family. Unlike previous books of hers I have read, most notably The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work and The Second Shift, The Outsourced Self did not seem as "universal" or applicable to all classes of Americans. Hochschild weaves in her own personal narrative of her Aunt Elizabeth to give the bo [...]

    6. This book is about the destruction of community and the turning over of things families and friends used to do to the market. From dating services to date for use to mothers to rent out their wombs to bear our children, to life coaches, rent a friend or rent a grandma the market is replacing the things we used to do as a part of a full life. We now are beginning to pay strangers to be our friends, take care of relatives, plan weddings and birthdays and give us a funeral that is personalized (but [...]

    7. Hochschild's report on the changing dynamics of relationships in the internet-age is at times frightening and almost always thoughtful. An exploration of the idea "where does one draw the line?" without necessarily preaching an answer to that question, "The Outsourced Self" brings up a plethora of examples of the way in which modern Americans are adapting to having the internet as a constant companion. My issue with the book, which probably result from having lived my entire life with the intern [...]

    8. Overall, a good look at how the market has shaped our personal lives. Through interviews and personal experiences, Hochschild shows how people have given over personal chores and responsibilities to the market. From online dating and wedding planning to familial skill evaluation and elder care, she argues that the market has rushed in to perform once communally-sourced duties in what they claim is a more efficient way.Hochschild relates several interviews with people who have been hired to take [...]

    9. Another great piece from Arlie Hochschild, whose writing in sociology I have always found to be rewarding reads. From "The Second Shift" to this examination of the trend to consult experts and hire outsiders to manage surprisingly intimate parts of peoples lives, Hochschild offers some nuanced analysis of modern living's pressures and prospects.Framed with the ongoing story of her own family's experiences of courtship, elder care and more, all linked to the story of her fiercely independent aunt [...]

    10. The story of Hochschild's search for a long-term care solution for her ailing elderly aunt frames this study of the marketing and consumerism that now afflicts our intimate lives. I've been a fan of Hochschild's works for some time, and found this to be a very readable, personable account of the various fields which have become consumer based, from dating and wedding planning, to child-rearing and party planning, elder care and friends-for-hire. She interviews people who have hired help, as well [...]

    11. The Outsourced Self calls to attention the many ways that american family's have found a public market for private family issues. In this market you can pay to find love, have a child, and even hire help with potty training your children. This book shows how we have pulled away from doing what each person can do to help in the community has lead to the need for a public market to purchase needs you use to be able to find right next door. I found this book enlightning and enjoyable. I recieved th [...]

    12. Ms. Hochschild presents the myriad ways that the market has encroached on family and community life. She makes her case through the personal stories of nannies, personal assistants, elder care managers and party planners, as well as those who employ them. It's a worthwhile book to read, and to consider how dramatically our way of living has changed in such a short period of time. The book does not wallow in nostalgia, but asks us to stop our frenzied lives long enough to look at where we are, an [...]

    13. Her thesis is provocative -- that we're increasingly turning to the market for the kinds of intimate help that in the past we got from families and members of our communities. She didn't quite convince me that it's gone as far as she claims, though. She's right to raise the alarm. The heart of the book was the afterword where she makes her case for fighting for what's public (libraries, parks, public schools) against the encroaching market. I wish she'd made that the center of the book.

    14. The words alienation and commodification are not used in this book but they are implied. Hochschild outlines from birth to death the outsourcing of services once provided by ourselves, family and friends. By making these services into something (a commodity) to be bought and sold, we are no longer connected (alienated) to the community. A well organized simple book that easily makes its point with falling prey to nostalgia and emotion.

    15. The premise of this book is that as a society we are paying others to do things that families and communities used to do for one another; and what is lost in the process, although the creation of these services - from wedding planning, to life coaching, to education, child and senior care, do provide employment. The writer has a nice style, although I think this could have been effectively presented in a long-form magazine article.

    16. I liked this book. Hochschild surveys the commercialization of intimate life, as the market plays an ever-larger role in how we go about dating, getting laid, marrying, parenting, caregiving, dying, etc. Spurred on by the advance of capitalism and the collapse of community, people increasingly seek market solutions to human problems. Hochschild asks: at what cost? I was most creeped out by the dating, dying, and surrogacy sections.

    17. I won this book as a first reads!The outsourced self:intimate life in market times was a wonderfully intriguing book. The author Arlie Russell Hochschild interviewed both sides of different sourced help in the search for her own Aunt Elizabeth.She goes through everyone from dating services to wantologists and everyone in between.

    18. This was an easy and interesting read but I wish there had been more sociological analysis. The introduction and conclusion were great, but I would have loved to see more commentary with each chapter. I definitely want to read more by this author since she has a clear and concise writing style and fascinating content. 3.5 stars.

    19. I think perhaps I'm a bit jaded by my recent nonfiction reading, but this, too struck me as radically obvious: We pay other people to do a lot of things that didn't used to be part of the paid labor market: advise us on emotional matters, clean our houses, bear our children. Sometimes it creates some weirdness. Well, duh.

    20. This book made me pause and take stock of my own outsourcing efforts. I decided to be more patient and to enjoy the process instead of delegating all my "work". However the author doesn't take sides. She presents a balanced and thought-provoking view on this issue.

    21. I had forgotten to review this until I saw it on the Lilly Current Literature shelves, where I had to look at the last few chapters to see if I really finished it. An interesting topic, so why do I remember so little?

    22. Anyone interested in sociology or American culture will find this book entertaining and at times almost unbelievable--our world has changed so much. It made me think about which changes were helpful, which not so helpful, and how to decide, questions couples profiled in the book also struggle with.

    23. The issues Arlie is talking about are challenges for society and not just individuals. Join our conversation and learn how our community can work together. Insight into how to manage home and work(Staffers talk)

    24. Arlie provides a historical perspective on the move from doing it yourself to hiring someone to do it for you. It is a thought provoking look at where we are at with hiring out for services. The examples and interviews are priceless! Thanks to for providing me a copy to read and review.

    25. Has a very interesting forward/intro, however the book repeats its major tenant over and over just dieffernr examples of the same concept it could easily have been published in half the content. Returned it early back to the library

    26. A fascinating account of the marketing of America, as paid services are reaching further and wider into our personal and family lives.

    27. i had to read this for one of my classes, but i really enjoyed it. it took me a while to finish it bc i dreaded that i had to do a book review on it but it was interesting nonetheless.

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