Category Archives: Sociology

The Outsourced Self: What Happens When We Pay Others to Live Our Lives for Us by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Outsourced SelfThe Outsourced Self: What Happens When We Pay Others to Live Our Lives for Us
Arlie Russell Hochschild
Picador  / $17.00 / 320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-250-02419-0
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Political Science / Sociology

For review copies (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Arlie Russell Hochschild, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

PRAISE FOR THE OUTSOURCED SELF
“Brilliant, compelling, and hard to put down … The nation’s leading sociologist of daily life has turned her razor-sharp eye to the rapid advance of the commodity frontier.”—Juliet Schor, author of The Overworked American

“Hochschild’s big contribution here is to tally the subtler costs of outsourcing: the ‘depersonalization of our bonds with others,’ the failure to enjoy the process of planning a wedding, the missing out on one’s children’s childhoods – all of the little nontragedies that add up to a thinner, sadder life.”
—Judith Shulevitz, The New York Times Book Review

“Fascinating … Hochschild asks important questions about the ways in which outsourcing affects our self-worth and our relationships to family and community.”The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“What happens to us as we outsource more and more of our personal—even intimate—tasks to paid ‘coaches,’ caretakers, companions, event planners, and Third World surrogate mothers? It takes a social thinker of great stature and scope to tackle this question, and a writer of immense charm to make the answer riveting. Arlie Hochschild is both, and this may be her best book ever…I won’t say Hochschild will ‘make’ you think: She’s such a keen observer and delightful writer that she makes it fun to think.”—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

“Incisive, provocative, and often downright entertaining…It used to take a village, but these days it takes a full-service mall, much of it in cyberspace. Finding a mate, planning a wedding, potty-training a child, or being a better father—once intuitive, ordinary tasks involving family, friends, and neighbors—now require the services of paid experts, trainers, and a plethora of coaches, such as Internet dating coach Evan Katz, aka e-Cyrano, or Family360, which teaches executives to “invest time and attention in ‘high leverage’ family activities.”Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*

ABOUT THE OUTSOURCED SELF
We’ve long imagined the family as immune to market forces, the one place where the personal, the private, and the emotional hold sway. Yet as Arlie Russell Hochschild shows in THE OUTSOURCED SELF: What Happens When We Pay Others to Live Our Lives for Us (Picador; On sale: April 2, 2013; ISBN: 978-1-250-02419-0; $17.00; 320pp), the market—ever more specialized and global—is very much present at home. Many aspects of private life—love, friendship, child rearing—are being transformed into packaged expertise to be sold back to anxious, time-starved Americans.

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.

Clear-eyed and empathic, Hochschild puts a finger on the most important unacknowledged trend of our time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ARLIE RUSSELL HOCHSCHILD is the author of The Time Bind, The Second Shift, and The Managed Heart. Her articles have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Mother Jones, and Psychology Today, among others. A University of California–Berkeley sociologist, she lives in San Francisco.

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Filed under Current Events / Politics, Sociology

Beautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times by Eyal Press

Beautiful SoulsBeautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times
Eyal Press
Picador / $15.00 / 208 pages
On Sale: February 5, 2013
Political Science

For review copies (US and Canada only), or to schedule an interview with Eyal, please email gabrielle.gantz [at] picadorusa.com

 

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

PRAISE FOR BEAUTIFUL SOULS
“A hymn to the mystery of disobedience…What makes you eager to push this book into the hands of the next person you meet are the small, still moments, epics captured in miniature. … Essential.”—The New York Times

“Evocative…A valentine to the human spirit.”—The Wall Street Journal

“On stage and in the pulpit, moral dilemmas of this kind tend to have a black-and-white clarity. Working from life, Mr. Press brings out the grays….Rich in personal, circumstantial details that analytical thinkers in search of clear principles may overlook.”—The Economist

“Press examines his subjects carefully….In some ways Beautiful Souls is a thoughtful gesture of support. That might sound like a small thing, but it’s not. Compassion never is.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Provides rich, provocative narratives of moral choice…Press makes us wonder if we would have the strength to act against the crowd, and in so doing spread a bit of light in our own dark times.”—The Washington Post

“Fantastic…A brilliant meditation on [the] very difficult decisions of conscience that people have to make…I just want to urge everybody, please read this book.”—The Nation

“A fascinating study in the better angels of our nature.”—George Packer, The New Yorker

ABOUT BEAUTIFUL SOULS
History has produced many specimens of the banality of evil, but what about its flip side, what impels ordinary people to defy the sway of authority and convention? Through these dramatic stories of unlikely resisters, Eyal Press’ Beautiful Souls shows that the boldest acts of dissent are often carried out not only by radicals seeking to overthrow the system but also by true believers who cling with unusual fierceness to their convictions. Drawing on groundbreaking research by moral psychologists and neuroscientists, this deeply reported work of narrative journalism examines the choices and dilemmas we all face when our principles collide with the loyalties we harbor and the duties we are expected to fulfill.

ABOUT EYAL PRESS
Eyal Press is an author and journalist based in New York. His work has appeared in the New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, The Raritan Review and numerous other publications. A 2011 Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, he is the author of Absolute Convictions, and a past recipient of the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism.

MORE INFORMATION
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Eyal Press on Democracy Now!
Eyal Press on NPR Talk of the Nation

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Filed under Current Events / Politics, Politics, Sociology

The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home by Arlie Hochschild

The Second Shift: Working Families and the Revolution at Home
Arlie Hochschild
Penguin Paperback
On Sale: January 31, 2012

Revised with a New Afterword

“The best discussion I have read on what must be the quintessential domestic bind of our time.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“No book analyzes the human impact of the work-family track for both sexes more perceptively or thoroughly than this important, provocative study of the dynamics of two-career couples.”
—Newsday

“A fascinating read that makes us think twice about how much the Women’s Movement still has to accomplish.”
—Parenting

THE SECOND SHIFT: Working Families and the Revolution at Home by Arlie Hochschild with Anne Machung remains as important and relevant today as it did when it was first published in 1989.

As the majority of women entered the workforce, sociologist and Berkeley professor Arlie Hochschild was one of the first to talk about what really happens in dual-career households. Many people were amazed to find that women still did the majority of childcare and housework even though they also worked outside the home.

Now, in this updated edition of THE SECOND SHIFT with a new afterword from the author, we discover how much things have, or have not, changed for women today.

For More Information
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Filed under Current Events / Politics, Sociology, Women's Studies

Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Decline by Steven Pinker

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
Steven Pinker

Viking
On Sale: October 4, 2011
This title is available on Netgalley

“Classic Pinker, jammed with facts, figures, and points of speculative departure; a big, complex book, well worth the effort for the good news that it delivers.”—Kirkus Reviews

In his most important and provocative book to date, Steven Pinker broadens his ongoing inquiry into the nature of human nature to tackle a paradox of modern life: that contrary to what most people believe, violence has been in decline for millennia, and we may be living in the most peaceful era in human history. In THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE: Why Violence Has Declined (Viking; On-Sale Date: October 4, 2011; ISBN: 978-0670022953; Pages: 848; $40.00), Pinker—psychologist, cognitive neuroscientist, linguist, intellectual polymath—pulls out all the stops in this dazzling sweep across centuries of human life.

About the Author:
Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind, and human nature. Currently Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Pinker has also taught at Stanford and MIT. His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the American Psychological Association. He has also received six honorary doctorates, several teaching awards at MIT and Harvard, and numerous prizes for his books The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate. He is Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and often writes for The New York Times, Time, and The New Republic. He has been named Humanist of the Year, Prospect magazine’s “The World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals,” Foreign Policy’s “100 Global Thinkers,” and Time magazine’s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today.”

For More Information:
Press Release for Download
Interview Alert with Talking Points For Download
Cover Image for Download
Author Photo for Download
Author’s website
Steven Pinker at TED on the myth of violence (opens with sound)

For a review copy, please contact gabrielle.gantz [at] us.penguingroup.com

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Filed under Current Events / Politics, History, Politics, Psychology, Sociology