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Labors of love, once our exclusive personal domain, are now available for hire. But when we outsource our inner lives do we lose more than we gain?
Paying for personal services used to be a privilege afforded only the wealthy. Now professionals are accessible to the middle and upper middle class chasing the increasingly elusive free time.
Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of the book, The Outsourced Self: Intimate Life in Market Times, describes outsourcing our inner lives as paying for “emotional labor.” The transactions are however, complex despite the fact or maybe because they leave our closest relationships out of the equation.
Interested in a no-strings-attached friend to listen to your problems over lunch or to join you on a trip to Europe? Companies can rent companions. Need a “mom” or “grandma” to attend an event? Filler family members are available. Can’t settle on the right name for your child? A nameologist will narrow the list. Read more….