This is an extract of our Emotional Labour document, which we sell as part of our Employment Relations Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford University students.
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Emotional Labour Definition: centres around the 'management of feeling to create an observable facial and bodily display' (Hochschild). Different from emotional work - the process of managing and presenting emotions in the private spheres of our lives. Argument for exploitation
? Hochschild: emotional labour entails private feelings being packaged and consumed as a commodified interaction. o Workers are alienated through management seizing formal control over the form, timing, giving and withdrawing of emotional feelings, which are instead dictated by codified rules. ? emotional feelings come to belong more to the organization than to the self. o Management impose codified 'feeling rules' to ensure a delivery of desired service quality, separating workers from the design and control of the labour process. o Rules go further than surface acting, workers are expected to actually experience feelings as and when they are told to do so, resulting in a systematic suppression of the true self.
? Mann: Attempting to portray emotions that are not felt creates the strain of emotional dissonance, can cause personal and work related maladjustment, depression, cynicism, alienation, and leave the worker feeling 'robotic and unempathetic' (Albrecht and Zemke), with a lack of work identity (Van Maanen and Kunda). o If feeling the right emotions is linked in their minds to being good at their job and they have to rely on faked expression this could affect self esteem/efficacy. o Freud - people who continually inhibit emotions are more prone to disease, greater negative effect on those acting in good faith. o However in the case of nurses for example, under emotional harmony, it can protect them from getting too involved and weakening clinical judgement. Being able to detach emotionally may protect them from undue emotional stress (McQueen). o In jobs like nursing where emotional labour is central:
? Must not continued to be devalued, as health care services risk becoming blind to emotional needs of patients and staff.
? Need to teach not only performance of labour in a formally recognized way, but also strategies for coping with the effects.
? ? Resonates with Marxist Labour Process Theory as put forward by Braverman.
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