Introducing: The Second Shift

CC 204 students will be happy to see a new addition to this year’s Core Curriculum in the form of a new text. The Second Shift, a short treatise on the evolution of women in the workforce and its anthropological significance in modern society. Author Arlie Hochschild discusses how even though women have steadily integrated into the workforce, they still retain all their responsibilities in the household, effectively adding a “second shift” to their work day. This extra work culminates in an entire month of extra work, making it seem that women work thirteen months out of the available twelve.

In relation to The Second Shift, students interested in extending their perception of societal evolution should also take a look at If Walls Could Talk: A Intimate History of the Home by Lucy Worsley.

In her book, Worsley gives her reader an in-depth look into one of the strongest indicators of social progress: our domestic habits. Our mirrors, our baths, even our toilets are all indicators of how society was structured and how it was progressing, or regressing. It makes for an enjoyable read, with a humorous yet educational style regarding the details of public defecation and waste management.

For those wondering what bathroom humor has to do with learning about our society, just try to consider the fact that bowel movements weren’t always a private matter, and some would even relieve themselves in front of guests at a meal. It says a lot for our social mentality when one act can be seen in two extremes in relatively close history.

If this has piqued your academic curiosity, you can find a more in-depth review of the book here.

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