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The issues of family/work conflict and autonomy/job satisfaction are important issues in the sociology of work today because of the continuous social and economic changes that occur in our society and effect the welfare of American workers and their families.
The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home & Home becomes Work by Arile Russell Hochschild investigates the work/family conflict. Hochschild spent three summers doing field research at a company identified only as a Fortune 500 firm that Hochschild renames Amerco, which had also been credited on several different surveys as being one of America's 10 most "family-friendly" corporations. Hochschild research consists of interviewing all employees in the company from the top executives to factory workers by observed working parents and their children throughout their hectic days. She followed six families through a whole day and much of a night, and sat on the edge of Amerco's parking lot to see when people started work and when they left. This study raises disturbing questions about the impact of time on contemporary lives. The excessive demands of work create stresses at home because there is insufficient time to do everything. This is especially hard on women who bear the brunt of housekeeping chores, and on children, whose emotional needs require time with parents. Except for some older men, the people Hochschild interviews are aware of and concerned about the implications of this 'time bind'. What is surprising, consequently, is their failure to take on reduced workloads, flex time, and other components of the company's effort to help employees balance the demands of work and home. While supporting the existence of these policies, only a few employees take advantage of them. Fears about job security and career advancements are present, of course, but many employees were uninterested in such options because they perceived work, not home, as the less stressful and more emotionally fulfilling environment.
With the employees family's on the brink of disaster and parents feeling perpetually out of control of their children's lives and their own, the office or factory floor ends up providing a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, camaraderie and overall job satisfaction to these workers. Unfortunately, after uncovering this surprising reversal of standard expectations, Hochschild buries it by simply assuming it is a passion. By escaping from the home by going to work reflects a dynamic with costs, but it also suggests a need to reconsider common conceptions of what constitutes a satisfying life.
Hochschild's solution is a "time movement," and orga
Quotes talked about in this paper
- She raises questions like how we should be judged, either based on the hours of work we put in or our accomplishments while at work, "The time a worker works in and of itself, has to count as much as the results accomplished within that time. Time is a symbol of commitment….whether time mattered more than results was a key point of contention. But it became buried in the company's rhetoric." ...
Names mentioned in this research paper
Ben Hamper, Arlie Russell Hochschild, Jobs, Hocschild, Joanie,
Locations included in this term paper
America, Flint, Michigan,
Health Conditions referenced in this report
Companies mentioned in this report
General Motors, Amerco,
Keywords included in this report
job satisfaction, Hamper, Time Bind, factory workers, Rivethead, more time, Ben Hamper, family life, Arlie Russell Hochschild, worker, a vicious cycle, job security, American Dream, 35 hour work week, work conditions, work ethic, flex time, time constraints, workplace, family relationships, dysfunctional family, General Motors, family values, alcohol and drug consumption, fellow workers, experience, achievements, society, social life, fast and furious, all american, hard working, career ladder, working conditions, American society, mood swings, escape me, extra curricular, grassroots movement, company, all day, role model, assembly line, long term, dark humor, chores, field research, global economy, global market, accomplishment,