The Second Shift Essay

The Second Shift Essay

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Have women really experienced progress? Or has their oppression just changed in form? There is no doubt that women, overtime, have gained more power throughout society. From the first and second waves of feminism to today women have fought and won battles over political, personal, psychological and sexual aspects of female oppression. Essentially, they have experienced and continue to experience a revolution. Nevertheless, despite this acclaimed progress, women still face significant forms of oppression.
Even Though women have revolutionized themselves in relation to the world many other aspects of society have not. This phenomenon, originally coined by Arielle Hochschild in her book The Second Shift, is known as the stalled revolution. In essence while female culture has shifted male culture has not. This has created an unequal, unfair and oppressive atmosphere for women across the nation. The title of Hochschild's book tells it all. The second shift refers to the second shift of work women are and have been burdened with at home. Although they have made enormous leaps within the economy and workforce their gender roles at home and within society remain the same. Male culture and their ideas of female gender roles have not progressed. As a result needs of females have not been met. Working mothers today work more than any other demographic, a rough estimate of this comes out to be a whole extra month of work consisting of twenty four hour work days.
Throughout her book the Second Shift Arlie Hochschild examines this modern oppression of women. She closely observes dozens of families and conducts countless interviews over the portion of about 10 years starting in the early 1970s. Her research provides an in depth analysis of...


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... “ corporations have done little to accommodate the needs of working parents, and that the government has done little to prod them” ( ) Essentially Hochschild argues that change is possible but really only through government intervention and policy (re)formation. Although the economy was able to transform women it was not able to transform the rest of society. Thus it is up to the government and the corporate sector to do so. If the government were to create “a safer environment for the two-job family” and families in general, men would be drawn out of their gender roles into the lives of children. As a result, women would be greater supported and society as a whole would gear its culture towards a more family oriented atmosphere rather than a capitalistic one. ( )




Works Cited

Hochschild, A. R., & Machung, A. (2003). The second shift. New York: Penguin Books.

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