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Book Title: The Second Shift|
The author of the book: Arlie Russell Hochschild
Edition: Penguin Books
Date of issue: April 29th 2003
ISBN 13: 9780142002926
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 576 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.2
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I truly think every married man, newlywed or otherwise should read this book. This book is a sociological study about how men and women share the 'second shift', the time and the work put in at home in terms of both house work and child rearing. While there are various issues with the sampling (all one company, all one geographical area, etc, which she does disclose at the end of the book) I think she arrives at very correct conclusions.
I cannot stress enough, my wife DID NOT urge me to read this book. I picked it up off of her bookshelf as I want to learn more about Sociology, her field. I chose this book because it seemed to have a very direct bearing on my current life situation. We are a two job household. We do not currently have children, but we plan to in the future.
I found myself shaking my head at many of the men in this book, and a few of the women. I cannot believe the lack of communication that occurs between some of these couples and feel blessed to have entered a marriage based on communication as a major if not the penultimate resource for surviving and thriving together. Communication, or lack thereof, seems to be a prevailing issue amongst most of these couples who have issues on the second shift. Outside cultural forces: male privilege, male dominated society, and a devaluation of the second shift among them seem to actually be the biggest impediments to a happy marital life. I truly appreciate the book opening my eyes to a few of these things. Specifically:
- Realizing the step down from an agrarian household, to a urban household caused a major cultural shift for men, and they had their wives at home building a bastion for them against these new outside forces of a modern, foreign world. Now women are taking a step from an urban household, out into the working world, and have no such assistance from men at home. They are expected to change DRAMATICALLY, taking steps forward to help the total household earning potential (or necessity) and men (again, in general) are staying put, not helping them!
- Hearing about 'balancing' about made me want to vomit. This particular form of balancing involves a woman making more than a man, or having a more important role at work, and then coming home and having to take on more of the role of housewife to make her man feel more 'masculine'. So NOW she not only is the primary household earner, but to protect our horribly, insanely, fragile male ego, has to do more at home to make us feel better. Ugh, I have never been more happy to be less 'masculine'.
Primarily this book made me think. And isn't that what all books should do? I am truly a better person for having read this book. I will be more apt to see if I am slacking around the house, with future children, etc. I had a few blinders pulled from around my eyes as to the familial life that many couples must endure. I am that much more secure in my own skin for realizing my brand of masculinity fits me and my marriage perfectly. I am that much more indebted to and in love with my wife.
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Read information about the authorArlie Russell Hochschild is the author of The Outsourced Self, The Time Bind, Global Woman, The Second Shift, and The Managed Heart. She is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her articles have appeared in Harper's, Mother Jones, and Psychology Today, among others. She lives in San Francisco.
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