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"The Time Bind" By Arlie Russel; An In Depth Look Into The American Corporate Workplace

1679 words - 7 pages

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 this in terms of both Structuralism rather than Individualism. By taking a structuralist view, you are adhering more to what society has set as standards for men and women. Structuralism would say that because in society men have traditionally always been the ones to work and the roles of women were mostly in the home and the women that did work where viewed as less or unequal to male workers because it wasn't there "place." However, now that women have begun entering the work force, this view of male and female roles have changed. A clear sign of the cultural shift that has occurred is now companies have been forced to change and adjust to the needs of a "working mom." Thus all these big companies now offer a handful of family friendly policies in order to entice more women, and men as well, to work for there company. Taking a look at this in terms of structuralism, it is because these new policies address issues of the home, they are viewed to be geared more towards women rather than men. Companies now offer things like pregnancy leave, maternity leave, as well as day care. That being said, what is most surprising to me is that most women don't take advantage of these policies which are specifically geared towards them. This is why and Individualist approach just doesn't work. It doesn't explain why women...

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