The Second Shift, Again?
August 23, 2013 1:38 AM   Subscribe

I really enjoyed The Second Shift by Arlie Hochshild and Unequal Childhoods by Annette Lareau. What other books will I like?

I think what I like are deeply insightful studies. Especially those that deal with social class, gender issues, feminism, etc.

I'd prefer modern books about current issues, and books that do more than just summarize a bunch of anecdotes or studies (Gladwell or Freakonomics).

I'm not really sure what my taste is here, just know that I liked those two books and would like to have my mind blown by a few more!
posted by carolinaherrera to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
You would love the work of Barbara Ehrenreich. Especially Nickel and Dimed to start.

And if you're willing to go beyond the U.S.: Katherine Boo's Beyond the Beautiful Forevers. (If you can access old New Yorkers, her 2002 article about the US would also be good for your interests.)

A touch more academic but still full of compelling stories: Philippe Bourgois' In Search of Respect.
posted by third rail at 2:50 AM on August 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

All of Jonathan Kozol's work, especially Savage Inequalities.
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 3:11 AM on August 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

nthing Nickel and Dimed.

I think Class by Paul Fussell is really good and entertaining.

The Two Income Trap was incredible, it's by Elizabeth Warren (our next president) and her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi. It really changed my thinking.

Another interesting book, although a bit extreme was Your Money or your Life.

Happy reading!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:37 AM on August 23, 2013

Seconding any and all Jonathan Kozol.

You'd also like Alex Kotlowitz. I recommend There Are No Children Here and The Other Side of the River. Kotlowitz also contributed to the Harper High School episodes of This American Life earlier this year; they're a must-listen.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:41 AM on August 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

So Rich, So Poor: Why the Wealthiest Nation in the World Is Losing the Battle Against Poverty
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:45 AM on August 23, 2013

this question got some good answers.

Nthing Ehrenreich. You'd probably also like Women on the Line by Miriam Glucksmann (writing as Ruth Cavendish), and The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman (a little different, but a very compelling read.)
posted by lwb at 6:26 AM on August 23, 2013

You've probably already learned of this, but Arlie Hochschild's The Managed Heart is also a great book. It's about workers in "service" occupations, and how the emotional labor that they are required to perform--smiling, behaving warmly, etc. (or being nasty in the case of debt collectors)--affects them.
posted by Hypatia at 6:41 AM on August 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

I came to say Ehrenreich and Kozol as well. Hochschild on service work is a good call too.

Nick Lemann: The Big Test.

Related, though a bit afield and historical, I'd also suggest Cowan's More Work for Mother.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:43 AM on August 23, 2013

Similar to The Second Shift:
- Halving It All: How Equally Shared Parenting Works by Francine M. Deutsch
- Kidding Ourselves: Breadwinning, Babies And Bargaining Power by Rhona Mahony

Different format but similar topic:
- Wifework: What Marriage Really Means for Women by Susan Maushart
- Get to Work by Linda Hirshman
posted by meijusa at 6:47 AM on August 23, 2013

Backlash by Susan Faludi. Her book Stiffed is an interesting read as well, although the analysis in Backlash is better.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 7:25 AM on August 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

With all due respect to Ehrenreich, I found David Shipler's The Working Poor to be more informative. Although it's worth reading Ehrenreich's book if only to convince you to never hire a housekeeping service.

You might also find Nell Bernstein's All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated to be as gripping as I did. It made me think hard about issues that had never even occured to me before.

Random Family is universally regarded as a powerful study. Even better than this one, imo, is American Dream by Jason DeParle.
posted by janey47 at 7:35 AM on August 23, 2013

Shipler's book is very good.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:02 AM on August 23, 2013

Flat Broke with Children might be up your alley.
posted by carnivoregiraffe at 11:19 AM on August 23, 2013

Ok, so I suck at adding links. The book I'm recommending is "Flat Broke with Children: Women in the age of welfare reform" by Sharon Hays.
posted by carnivoregiraffe at 11:21 AM on August 23, 2013

Now that I'm at an actual keyboard, I have two more books to recommend. These are not squarely on your topic, but I found them to be remarkable and eye-opening.

The first is Mark Dow's American Gulag, about immigration prisons.

The second is by David Dow, Mark's brother. It's called Executed on a Technicality, and discusses the death penalty in practice. He has written several books on the topic, but imo this is the best. He begins by putting aside the innocence argument, because he says it's a red herring. The question he probes is that of equal justice under the law. It's fascinating and horrifying stuff.
posted by janey47 at 11:37 AM on August 23, 2013

Random Family by Adrian Nicole Leblanc.
posted by spamandkimchi at 3:57 PM on August 23, 2013

P.S. I wonder if looking at syllabi for sociology of gender (or inequality or family) would prove fruitful. Both of the books you enjoyed are staples of sociology of gender courses.
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:19 PM on August 23, 2013

+1 for Random Family and American Dream. Also, Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood before Marriage by Kathryn Edin, who also has a book about fatherhood in the inner city that looks up your alley.
posted by kayram at 7:14 PM on August 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

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