Home and Work Negotiating Boundaries through Everyday Life
by Christena E. Nippert-Eng
University of Chicago Press, 1996
Cloth: 978-0-226-58145-3 | Paper: 978-0-226-58146-0 | Electronic: 978-0-226-58147-7
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226581477.001.0001


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.




Introduction. Negotiating Home and Work: From Integration to Segmentation

1. Territories of the Self: Recognizing the Home-Work Boundary

2. Cognitive Engineering: Bridging Time, Space, and Self

3. Structural Constraints and Personal Discretion: Work Stakes Its Claim

4. Be It Ever So Humble, There Arer Also Surveyors at Home

5. Jimmy, Eleanor, and the Logic of Boundary Work

Conclusion. Beyond Home and Work: Boundary Theory

Appendix. Interview Questionnaire for Home and Work