Arlie Hochschild

Imagine two men drawn from Ofer Sharone’s highly insightful and important study of how jobless people search for work. One approaches a job interview as he might a  first date, and the other, as he would an oral exam. The first offers who he is, the second, what he has. As we learn from this book, the first man is likely to be a white-collar American, and the second, his Israeli counterpart. After encountering  a series of ‘no, no, no’s,’ it is the open-hearted American who is likely to blame himself, feel shame, and give up, while the pragmatic Israeli is more likely to shrug it off and keep trying. Here Sharone articulates a central ‘got-ya’ moment of American market individualism. Called to try to feel personally empowered in the face of a merciless market he cannot control, the jobless man recoils in heart-felt defeat and feels stripped of a dignity—and power—he might otherwise enjoy. Realizing this, Sharone notes, is a first step in mobilizing for social change.

Arlie Hochschild
author of The Outsourced Self