The Second Shift

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The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home
First cover
AuthorArlie Russell Hochschild with Anne Machung
CountryUnited States
GenreNonfiction social science
PublisherViking Penguin
Publication date
1989, with reissues in 1997 and 2012
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
ISBN9780143120339 (2012 release)

The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home is a book by Arlie Russell Hochschild with Anne Machung, first published in 1989. It was reissued in 2012 with updated data. In the text, Hochschild investigates and portrays the double burden experienced by late-20th-century employed mothers.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]


Coined after Arlie Hochschild's 1989 book, the term "second shift" describes the labor performed at home in addition to the paid work performed in the formal sector. In The Second Shift, Hochschild and her research associates "interviewed fifty couples very intensively" and observed in a dozen homes throughout the 1970s and 1980s in an effort to explore the "leisure gap" between men and women.[8] Through the depictions of couples' day-to-day practices, Hochschild derived three constructs in regard to marital roles that she observed during her research: transitional, traditional, and egalitarian. The traditional woman "wants to identify with her activities at home (as a wife, a mother, a neighborhood mom)". The egalitarian female partner "wants to identify with the same spheres her husband does, and to have an equal amount of power in the marriage". The transitional woman falls in between, blending the traditional and egalitarian ideologies. Most of the chapters are dedicated to the routines of a different couple, delving into the apparent and unnoticed motivations behind their behaviors. Similar to earlier research that is cited in the book, The Second Shift found that women still take care of most of the household and child care responsibilities despite their entrance into the labor force. The "second shift" affected the couples, as they reported feelings of guilt and inadequacy, marital tension, and a lack of sexual interest and sleep. On the other hand, Hochschild shared the stories of a few men who equally shared the burden of domestic work and childcare with their wives, showing that while this scenario is uncommon, it is a reality for some couples. Hochschild's research also presented a clear division between the ideology preferences of the genders and social classes: the working class and men preferred the traditional idea; the middle class and women preferred the egalitarian one.[8]


Reviewing the book for The New York Times in 1989, Robert Kuttner wrote that the topic is "a standard feminist plaint", but commended the book for "the texture of the reporting and the subtlety of the insights".[9]


  1. ^ "The second shift: Working parents and the revolution at home". Long Range Planning. 25 (2): 130. April 1992. doi:10.1016/0024-6301(92)90239-X.
  2. ^ Brines, Julie; Hochschild, Arlie; Machung, Anne (February 1990). "The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home". Journal of Marriage and the Family. 52 (1): 278. doi:10.2307/352858. JSTOR 352858.
  3. ^ Braverman, Lois (December 1990). "Book Reviews : The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home. By Arlie Hochschild. New York: Viking Penguin, 1989, 309 pp., $18.95 (hardbound". Affilia. 5 (4): 111–113. doi:10.1177/088610999000500411. ISSN 0886-1099. S2CID 143566176.
  4. ^ Hertz, Rosanna (1990). "Review of The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home". American Journal of Sociology. 96 (3): 776–778. doi:10.1086/229595. ISSN 0002-9602. JSTOR 2781087.
  5. ^ Rafaeli, Anat; Hochschild, Arlie; Machung, Ann; Weiss, Robert S. (December 1991). "The Second Shift". Administrative Science Quarterly. 36 (4): 667. doi:10.2307/2393280. JSTOR 2393280.
  6. ^ Luxton, Meg (October 1993). "Family Obligations and Social Change . Janet Finch Brave New Families: Stories of Domestic Upheaval in Late Twentieth Century America. Judith Stacey The Second Shift. Arlie Hochschild, Anne Mchung Feeding the Family: The Social Organization of Caring as Gendered Work. Marjorie L. DeVault". Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 19 (1): 260–264. doi:10.1086/494877. ISSN 0097-9740.
  7. ^ Hertz, Rosanna (November 1990). "The Second Shift: Working Parents and the Revolution at Home. Arlie Hochschild, Anne Machung". American Journal of Sociology. 96 (3): 776–778. doi:10.1086/229595. ISSN 0002-9602.
  8. ^ a b Hochschild, Arlie and Anne Machung. The Second Shift. New York: Avon Books, 1990.
  9. ^ Kuttner, Robert (June 25, 1989). "She Minds the Child, He Minds the Dog". The New York Times. Retrieved May 17, 2012.