Arlie Russell Hochschild

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Arlie Russell Hochschild
Born (1940-01-15) January 15, 1940 (age 76)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Nationality American
Fields Social Psychology, Sociology of Emotions, Gender and Politics
Institutions University of California-Berkeley
Alma mater Swarthmore University (B.A)
University of California-Berkeley (MAPhD)
Known for The Second Shift, The Managed Heart, The Time Bind
Spouse Adam Hochschild

Arlie Russell Hochschild (/ˈhkʃɪld/) is a professor emerita of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.[1] Her newest book is Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (September 6, 2016). Based on intensive interviews with Tea Party enthusiasts in Louisiana, conducted over the last five years, she tries to scale an “empathy wall” to learn how to see, think and feel “red.” She traces the views and desires of those she comes to know to what she calls their “deep story”—a feels-as-if story of struggle for the American Dream. Under this, she argues, lies a loss of honor, alienation and engagement in a hidden social class war.

Her other books include: The Managed Heart: the Commercialization of Intimate Life, The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home, The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work, The Commercialization of Intimate Life: Notes from Home and Work, and the co-edited Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy. In her 2013 So How's the Family? And Other Essays, Hochschild explores the many ways we manage our emotions in personal life and also perform emotional labor in the American workplace and around the globe. For Hochschild's work on emotion management, see interviews (Key Pedagogic Thinkers) and (Emotional Labor Around the World: An Interview with Arlie Hochschild).

Early life[edit]

The child of diplomats, Hochschild was exposed early onto and became fascinated with the boundaries people draw between inner experience and outer appearance. As she writes in the preface to her book The Managed Heart: The Commercialization of Human Feeling,

"I found myself passing a dish of peanuts among many guests and looking up at their smiles; diplomatic smiles can look different when seen from below than when seen straight on. Afterwards I would listen to my mother and father interpret various gestures. The tight smile of the Bulgarian emissary, the averted glance of the Chinese consul . . . I learned, conveyed messages not simply from person to person but from Sofia to Washington, from Peking to Paris, and from Paris to Washington. Had I passed the peanuts to a person, I wondered, or to an actor? Where did the person end and the act begin? Just how is a person related to an act?"[2]

Education and Academic Career[edit]

Hochschild graduated from Swarthmore College, and then earned her M.A. and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1962. Her dissertation was titled, "A Community of Grandmothers," and was published as The unexpected community in 1973. In the acknowledgements of her book she singles out Erving Goffman, a professor at Berkeley from 1958 to 1968, with influencing her thinking. She also acknowledges the mentorship of several other notable Berkeley professors, including Neil Smelser, Robert Bellah, Reinhard Bendix, Robert Blauner, and Charlie Glock. She later become a professor at Berkeley.

As a graduate student at Berkeley, Hochschild read and was greatly influenced by the writings of C. Wright Mills. In White Collar, Mills argued that we "sell our personality." This resonated with Hochschild, but she felt that more needed to be added. As she writes,

"Mills seemed to assume that in order to sell personality, one need only have it. Yet simply having personality does not make one a diplomat, any more than having muscles makes one an athlete. What was missing was a sense of the active emotional labor involved in the selling. This labor, it seemed to me, might be one part of a distinctly patterned yet invisible emotional system– a system composed of individual acts of 'emotion work,' social 'feeling rules,' and a great variety of exchanges between people in private and public life."[3]

Influenced by both Mills and Erving Goffman, Hochschild went on to create concepts which illuminate the power of emotion in social life. With her husband, writer Adam Hochschild, she raised two sons.


Emotion As Social[edit]

Hochschild starts with the thesis that human emotion and feeling—joy, sadness, anger, elation, jealousy, envy, despair—is, in large part, social. Each culture, she argues, provides us with prototypes of feeling which, like the different keys on a piano, attune us to different inner notes. Tahitians, she points out, have one word, "sick," for what in other cultures might correspond to envy, depression, grief or sadness.[4]

Culture guides the act of recognizing a feeling by proposing what's possible for us to feel. In The Managed Heart Hochschild cites the Czech novelist Milan Kundera, who writes that the Czech word "litost" refers to an indefinable longing, mixed with remorse and grief—a constellation of feelings with no equivalent in any other language. It is not that non-Czechs never feel litost, she notes; it is that they are not, in the same way, invited to lift the feeling out and affirm it—instead of to disregard or suppress it.[5]

Apart from what we think a feeling is, Hochschild asserts in The Managed Heart, we have ideas about what it should be. We say, "You should be thrilled at winning the prize" or "you should be furious at what he did." We evaluate the fit between feeling and context in light of what she calls "feeling rules," which are themselves deeply rooted in culture.[5] In light of such feeling rules, we try to manage our feelings—i.e., we try to be happy at a party, or grief-stricken at a funeral. In all of these ways—our experience of an interaction, our definition of feeling, our appraisal and management of feeling—feeling is social.

Emotional Labor[edit]

Hochschild's work with emotion being social lead her to propose the idea of "emotional labor"—the effort to seem to feel and to try to actually feel the "right" feeling for the job, and to try to induce the "right" feeling in certain others.[5] In The Managed Heart Hochschild shows this concept through examples such as how flight attendants are trained to control passengers' feelings during times of turbulence and dangerous situations while suppressing their own feelings during different situations. Another example Hochschild provides is the expectation for bill collectors to show emotions of dislike and lack of compassion for debtors.[5] As the number of service jobs grows, so too does the amount of emotional labor performed.

Increasingly, Hochschild argues, emotional labor is going global. In her essay, "Love and Gold," she sets the concept of emotional labor in a larger political context. She describes a South-to-North "heart transplant" as immigrant care workers from such countries as the Philippines and Sri Lanka leave their young, their elderly and their communities in the poor South to take up paid jobs caring for the young and elderly in families and communities of the affluent North. Such jobs call on workers to manage grief and anguish vis-a-vis their own long-separated children, spouses, and elderly parents, even as they try to feel—and genuinely do feel—joyful attachment to the children and elders they daily care for in the North.[6]

"Is an emotion a resource like gold or ivory that can be extracted from one place and taken to another?" Hochschild asks.[7] Rich countries indeed do "extract" love from poor ones, she concludes, in the broad sense that they are taking caregivers away from the South and transferring them to the North.[6] But what is extracted, she argues, is the emotion a person has partially displaced, in the psychoanalytic sense, from its original object (her own baby left behind) onto another (the baby she is now paid to care for).[6] That displaced love is then further "produced" and "assembled" in Los Angeles or Athens, or elsewhere in the rich North, with the leisure, the money, the ideology of the child, the intense loneliness and the intense sense of missing her own children. Thus, Hochschild argues that love is gold but the gold is created through a social alchemy which blends a pre-modern childhood (as lived in rural areas of the Philippines, Thailand, India) and a post-modern American ideology of intensive mothering and child development, with the loneliness and separation of migration.[6] In "Love and Gold," Hochschild shows us a way of seeing the emotion of maternal love through the lens of global capitalism.

Other of Hochschild's books apply her perspective on emotion to the American family, which is still stuck, she proposes in The Second Shift, in a "stalled gender revolution." (Most mothers now do paid work outside the home; that is the revolution. But the jobs they go out to and men they come home to haven't changed as rapidly or deeply—that is the stall.) Hochschild explores how couples divide up the emotional as well as physical work of making home feel like home. She traces links between a couple's division of labor and their underlying "economy of gratitude."[8] Who, she asks, is grateful to whom, and for what, and how is gratitude influenced by the external "rate of exchange" for male help at home?[8]

In The Time Bind, Hochschild studied how families working at a Fortune 500 company fared in their efforts to expand family time, and explored a major contradiction that their lives expressed. On one hand, nearly everyone she talked to expressed the deeply held feeling that "my family comes first."[9] On the other hand, given the lack of family time, absence of community and kin support at home, and a strong and alluring culture at work, working parents felt the pull of cultural magnets that worked in the opposite direction. Hochschild finds that in about a fifth of families, it was at work and not at home that the person felt most competent, most appreciated, most supported ( i.e. could get help with mistakes) and even most secure.[9] Their values pulled them one way, while cultural magnets pulled them in another. Meanwhile, Hochschild noted, working parents dealt with this contradictory pull between values and magnets through the deployment of various strategies. One was the strategy of "emotional asceticism,” the curtailment of emotional needs; another strategy was to permit personal needs and hire others to meet them; a third was to develop a "potential self"—an imaginary self one would be if only one had time.[9] Hochschild argues that these strategies were ways in which families absorbed the emotional strains of a stalled revolution, without altering the conditions that caused those strains.[9]

Taken as a whole, Hochschild's books describe various ways in which each individual "self" becomes a shock absorber of larger contradictory forces. Hochschild describes how we sometimes become estranged from ourselves, partly by adopting myths (family myths of The Second Shift, the strategies of evasion in The Time Bind, the employer's myth of the naturally loving Sri Lankan nanny in Global Woman. Such myths function to contain anxiety, she notes, and—like "false consciousness"—they obscure individuals' recognition of some difficult truths about modern capitalism.[9] In this sense, Hochschild's work combines critical theory, ethnographic observation, and a focus on human emotion.

A list of Hochschild's writings can be found on her UC Berkeley website.


In 2015 Hochschild was awarded the Ulysses Medal from University College Dublin, Ireland. Hochschild has also won Guggenheim, Fulbright and Mellon fellowships, and three awards granted by the American Sociological Association—the Charles Cooley Award (for her book The Managed Heart) the Jessie Bernard Award (for The Second Shift, The Time Bind and Global Woman), and the Award for Public Understanding of Sociology (for lifetime achievement). In awarding Hochschild the Jessie Bernard Award, the American Sociological Association citation observed her "creative genius for framing questions and lines of insight, often condensed into memorable, paradigm-shifting words and phrases."

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 (May 5, 2012).

Hochschild has received honorary doctoral degrees from Swarthmore College (her alma mater), Aalborg University in Denmark, the University of Oslo, Norway, the University of Lapland, Finland, and the Mount St. Vincent University, Canada. Her work appears in 16 languages.


Within sociology she is known as the founder of the sociology of emotion and, outside of it, as a "public sociologist," having contributed to the New York Times op-ed page and Book Review, Mother Jones, The American Prospect, Harper's Magazine, and on issues of the day.

Concepts developed by Hochschild, such as "feeling rules" and "the time bind" have been adopted by scholars in a range of disciplines. Capturing some of the recent research and debate, a collection published in 2011, At the Heart of Work and Family: Engaging the Ideas of Arlie Hochschild, critically explores the conceptual framework developed by Hochschild. This anthology includes an Afterword by Hochschild and two of her classic articles and explores emotion work at the intersection of work and family life.[10]

Another collection of papers devoted to her work is Pathways to Empathy: new studies on commodification, emotional labor and time binds (2013) edited by Gertraud Koch and Stephanie Everke Buchanan (eds. Campus Verlag-Arbeit und Alltag, University of Chicago Press. (2013) The book is based on papers given at an “International Workshop in Honour of Arlie Russell Hochschild”, Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany (November 12–13, 2011).

The Managed Heart and The Second Shift, were both named "Notable Social Science Books of the Year" by the New York Times. The Second Shift, one of the books listed in Herbert Gans' study of "Best-Sellers by Sociologists" (Contemporary Sociology, 1995), reached far beyond academic and student readers to contribute to the wider public discourse on the gendered nature of work and family. Hochschild also regularly writes newspaper op eds and crafts articles for magazines like American Prospect."[11]


  • Hochschild, Arlie (1973). The Unexpected Community. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 9780139363856. 
Second edition (1979): Berkeley, CA: The University of California Press (ISBN 9780520036246).
Reprinted with new afterword in 2003 (ISBN 9780520239333).
Reissued in 2012 with a new preface (ISBN 9780520272941).
Reissued in 1997 with new afterword. Published in Great Britain by Piatkus Press (ISBN 9780142002926).
Reissued in 2012 with updated data and a new afterword (ISBN 9780143120339).
Reissued in 1997 with new afterword and in 2001 with a new introduction (ISBN 9780805066432).
Recorded as audio book by Scholarly Audio Inc (ISBN 9780966018042).
  • Hochschild, Arlie (2003). The Commercialization of Intimate Life: Notes from Home and Work. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 9780520214880. 
Published in Australia by the University of Australia.
  • Hochschild, Arlie Russell (1974). Coleen the Question Girl. Gail Ashby (illustrator). Old Westbury, New York: The Feminist Press. ISBN 9780912670126.  (A children’s story, to be revised and reissued.)

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hochschild, 1983; p. ix.
  3. ^ Hochschild, 1983; p. x.
  4. ^ Hochschild, 2003a.
  5. ^ a b c d Hochschild, 1983.
  6. ^ a b c d Hochschild, 2004.
  7. ^ Hochschild, 2004; p. 26.
  8. ^ a b [Hochschild, 1989.
  9. ^ a b c d e Hochschild, 2001.
  10. ^ Anita Ilta Garey and Karen V. Hansen, ed. (2011). At the Heart of Work and Family: Engaging the Ideas of Arlie Hochschild. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0-8135-4956-9. 
  11. ^ "Arlie Hochschild Award Statement". American Sociological Association. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  12. ^ "There's No Place Like Work". New York Times Magazine. April 20, 1997. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Adams, Bert N. and R.A. Sydie. 2001. Sociological Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
  • Alis, David. 2009. "Travail Emotionnel, Dissonance Emotionnelle, et Contrefaçon De I’Intimité: Vingt-Cinq Ans Après La Publication de Managed Heart d’Arlie R. Hochschild." in Politiques de L’Intime, edited by I. Berrebi-Hoffmann. Paris, France: Editions La Decouverte.
  • Farganis, James. 2007. Readings in Social Theory: The Classic Tradition to Post-Modernism. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
  • Garey, Anita Ilta and Karen V. Hansen. 2011. "Introduction: An Eye on Emotion in the Study of Families and Work." pp. 1–14 in At the Heart of Work and Family: Engaging the Ideas of Arlie Hochschild, edited by Anita Ilta Garey and Karen V. Hansen. New Brunswick: NJ.
  • Introduction by A. Grandey, in Emotional Labor in the 21st Century: Diverse Perspectives on Emotion Regulation at Work (2013) by Grandey, A., Diefendorff, J.A., & Rupp, D. (Eds.). New York, NY: Psychology Press/Routledge.
  • Greco, Monica, Carmen Leccardi, Roberta Sassatelli and Arlie Hochschild. "Roundtable on and with A. R. Hochschild, Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia," October/December 2014, pp. 819–840.
  • Hanninen, Vilma, Jukka Partanen, and Oili-Helena Ylijoki, eds. 2001. Sosiaalipsykologian Suunnannäyttäjiä. Tampere, Finland: Vastapaino.
  • Kimmel, Sherri. 2013. "A Playful Spirit," Swarthmore College Bulletin, April,
  • Koch, Gertraud, & Stephanie Everke Buchanan (eds). 2013. Pathways to Empathy: New Studies on Commodification, Emotional Labor and Time Binds. Campus Verlag-Arbeit und Alltag, University of Chicago Press. (The book is based on papers given at an “International Workshop in Honour of Arlie Russell Hochschild,” Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany (November 12–13, 2011).)
  • Mazzarela, Marete. 2014. "How to Turn Emotions into Capital," Svenska Dagbladet (February 27).
  • Sakiyama, Haruo. 2008. "Theoretical Contribution of Arlie Hochschild" (in Japanese). In Japanese Handbook of Sociology, edited by S. Inoue and K. Ito. Kyoto, Japan: Sekai-Shiso-Sya
  • Skucinska, Anna. 2002. "Nowe Obszary Utowardowienia" (in Czech). ZNAK LVii(6):41–63.
  • Smith, Stephen Lloyd. 1999. "Arlie Hochschild: Soft-spoken Conservationist of Emotions: Review and Assessment of Arlie Hochschild's work," in Soundings, Issue 11 – Emotional Labour, Spring 1999, pp. 120–127.
  • Smith, Stephen. 2014. “Arlie Russell Hochschild: Spacious Sociologies of Emotion,” Oxford Handbook of Sociology, Social Theory, and Organization Studies: Contemporary Currents, (edited by Paul Adler, Paul du Gay, Glenn Morgan and Mike Reed).
  • Wharton, Amy S. 2011. "The Sociology of Arlie Hochschild", Work and Occupations, 38(4), pp. 459–464.
  • Williams, Simon J. 1998. Chapter 18. pp. 240–251 in Key Sociological Thinkers, edited by R. Stones. New York: New York University Press.

External links[edit]