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The Outsourced Self

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About the Author

Arlie Russell Hochschild is the author of "The Time Bind," "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.


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)" 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. Barbara Ehrenreich The nation's leading sociologist of daily life has turned her razor-sharp eye to rapid advance of the commodity frontier. Exposing both extreme (love coaches, wantologists) and ordinary (elder care, party planners) cases, Hochschild has produced a brilliant, compelling, and hard-to-put-down account of the expansion of market logic and its effects on our culture. This book deserves the country's attention. "Juliet Schor, author of Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth" What have we given up, Arlie Hochschild worries, when we start paying experts for our most intimate activities? Taking us into a fascinating tour of love coaches, wedding planners, surrogate mothers and more, Hochschild offers her own compelling and controversial answers. Another triumph from this masterful social analyst and a gift to her legion of readers. "Viviana Zelizer, author of The Purchase of Intimacy""

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