"TheTime Bind" by Arlie Russel; an in-depth look into the American corporate workplace

Essay by outrider87College, UndergraduateA, May 2006

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Arlie Russell Hochschild's book "The Time Bind" takes an in-depth look at the American corporate workplace today and why so many men and women simply do not have enough time to successfully balance work and home life. She says that a culmination of social forces are what govern these people's lives, and today it is making them work longer hours with fewer vacations, and generally cut in on their time to parent and take care of their needs at home. She says that culture today makes workers feel guilty about leaving early and not putting in overtime, but this needs to change. She found that even in one of America's top "family-friendly" companies, that necessary balance just is not there. Toward the end of the book she relays that workers must organize because it is the only way to accomplish their goals. When assessing the time bind from a structuralist view, it is believed that people spend more time at work because society forces them to and they have no ability to change this.

On the contrary, an individualist would say that people are voluntarily giving more time at the office because they choose to and some even enjoy that they can get away from home life to be at work. As partners, we have come to find that the best way to explain the time bind is by using a structuralist view because it truly gets to the core of the problem, whereas an individualist view leaves too many questions unanswered.

As discussed in the Time Bind, family friendly policies have continued to fail and the amount of hours work has increased over the past few years. Taking a female perspective, I believe the best way to understand why this has happen is by explaining...