We don’t live with the community of yesteryear. And we don’t enjoy the public services Europeans do. So we turn to the market. Once we do, we find that service providers raise the standards of personal life, so that we come to feel we need them to live our ‘best’ personal lives.
Here is a new car, a new iPhone. We buy. We discard. We buy again. In recent years, we've been doing it faster.
Cricket is the greatest game that the wit of man has yet devised.- Sir Pelham Warner
Advertising is selling Twinkies to adults.- Donald R. Vance
The struggle of the male to learn to listen to and respect his own intuitive, inner prompt...- Herb Goldberg
Each generation of the church in each setting has the responsibility of communicating the ...- Francis Schaeffer
Each had defended his own country; the Germans Germany, the Frenchmen France; they had don...- Ernst Toller
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The more we rely on the market, the more hooked we become on its promises: Do you need a tidier closet? A nicer family picture album? Elderly parents who are truly well cared for? Children who have an edge in school, on tests, in college and beyond? If we can afford the services involved, many if not most of us are prone to say, ‘Sure, why not?’
The more anxious, isolated and time-deprived we are, the more likely we are to turn to paid personal services. To finance these extra services, we work longer hours. This leaves less time to spend with family, friends and neighbors; we become less likely to call on them for help, and they on us.
If in previous decades large historic events drew people together and oriented them toward collective action, the recent double trend toward greater choice but less security leads the young to see their lives in more individual terms. Big events collectivize. Little events atomize.
Has Bill Clinton inspired idealism in the young, as he himself was inspired by John F. Kennedy? Or has he actually reduced their idealism? Surely part of the answer lies in Clinton’s personal moral lapse with Monica Lewinsky. But more important was his sin of omission – his failure to embrace a moral cause beyond popularity.
Could it be, I wonder, that there is such a thing as a wantologist, someone we can hire to figure out what we want? Have I arrived at some final telling moment in my research on outsourcing intimate parts of our lives, or at the absurdist edge of the market frontier?
|Birth:||15th January, 1940|
Arlie Russell Hochschild is a professor emerita of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her books include: The Managed Heart, The Second Shift, The Time Bind, The Commercialization of Intimate Life and the co-edited Global Woman: nannies, maids and sex workers in the new economy. The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times was chosen by Publisher's Weekly as one of the "Best Books of 2012." The last chapter was excerpted in The New York Times. Her latest book is So How's the Family? And Other Essays. Hochschild graduated from Swarthmore College, and then earned her M.A. and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, where she later became a professor. Hochschild has won Guggenheim, Fulbright and Mellon fellowships, and three awards granted by the American Sociological Association—the Charles Cooley Award the Jessie Bernard Award, and the Award for Public Understanding of Sociology.
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