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Prime Time Radio

Journalist Arlie Russell Hochschild On 'The Outsourced Self'

New book details how hiring help has changed our lives

Hand holding money. What happens when we pay others to live our lives? (Norberto Lauria/Alamy)

Would you pay someone to tell you what you want? There are apparently people who do. — Norberto Lauria / Alamy

It's hard to believe that the word "outsourcing," so common today, was once a term used only in government and corporate settings. It's also hard to believe that outsourcing can now apply to our personal as well as our professional lives.

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In the book The Outsourced Self: What Happens When We Pay Others to Live Our Lives for Us, Arlie Russell Hochschild, a journalist and sociology professor at University of California, Berkeley, discusses the dangers and rewards of domestic outsourcing -— from personal life coaches to wedding planners to "wantologists." (Never heard of a wantologist? It's apparently a person you hire to help you figure out what you want. Really.)

Hochschild speaks with Prime Time Radio host Mike Cuthbert about how hiring out the minute details of our lives is changing the very nature of human relations.

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