Skip to main content

Home and Work

Negotiating Boundaries through Everyday Life

Do you put family photos on your desk at work? Are your home and work keys on the same chain? Do you keep one all-purpose calendar for listing home and work events? Do you have separate telephone books for colleagues and friends? In Home and Work, Christena Nippert-Eng examines the intricacies and implications of how we draw the line between home and work.

Arguing that relationships between the two realms range from those that are highly "integrating" to those that are highly "segmenting," Nippert-Eng examines the ways people sculpt the boundaries between home and work. With remarkable sensitivity to the symbolic value of objects and actions, Nippert-Eng explores the meaning of clothing, wallets, lunches and vacations, and the places and ways in which we engage our family, friends, and co-workers. Commuting habits are also revealing, showing how we make the transition between home and work selves though ritualized behavior like hellos and goodbyes, the consumption of food, the way we dress, our choices of routes to and from work, and our listening, working, and sleeping habits during these journeys.

The ways each of us manages time, space, and people not only reflect but reinforce lives that are more "integrating" or "segmenting" at any given time. In clarifying what we take for granted, this book will leave you thinking in different ways about your life and work.

343 pages | 5 line drawings, 3 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1996

Culture Studies

Psychology: Social Psychology

Sociology: Individual, State and Society

Table of Contents

Negotiating Home and Work: From Integration to Segmentation
Ch. 1: Territories of the Self: Recognizing the Home-Work Boundary
Ch. 2: Cognitive Engineering: Bridging Time, Space, and Self
Ch. 3: Structural Constraints and Personal Discretion: Work Stakes Its Claim
Ch. 4: Be It Ever So Humble, There Are Also Surveyors at Home
Ch. 5: Jimmy, Eleanor, and the Logic of Boundary Work
Conclusion: Beyond Home and Work: Boundary Theory
Appendix: Interview Questionnaire for Home and Work

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press