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Overview

emotional labour


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Is a concept developed by organizational sociologist Arlie Hochschild which describes the work performed by any service employee who is required, as part of his or her job, to display specific sets of emotions (both verbal and non-verbal) with the aim of inducing particular feelings and responses among those for whom the service is being provided. In this respect, employees are being required to control and use their own emotions in order to influence the emotional state of others. While some jobs (like nursing) have always had this dimension, it can be argued that emotional labour has become more widespread with the growth of the service sector and customer-facing jobs. Indeed, the term has become increasingly popular because of the emphasis on providing a quality service (see Total Quality Management) so that the customer or client is satisfied not only with the service provided but also with the service encounter itself. [See body work and customer care.]


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