What Are The Costs And Benefits Of Managing Emotion Life, In Private Life And At Work?

1001 words - 5 pages

“When we manage an emotion we are partly managing a bodily preparation for a consciously or unconsciously anticipated deed” (Hochschild, 1983). It is clear from this statement that Hochschild takes into account the biological aspects of emotion whilst also focusing on the psychological characteristics of the development of the self along with the cognitive, bodily and expressive types of emotion work (Theodosious, 2006). Emotion work is learnt through socialisation and we only become aware of emotion work when we aren’t feeling how we are supposed to feel in a given situation. Throughout this assignment I shall focus on analysing both the costs and benefits of managing emotion with reference to specific examples relating to both private life and work life. The first paragraphs will provide a brief outline of what managing emotion entails, a description of emotion work and also an account of emotional labour. The subsequent paragraphs will discuss the costs and benefits of managing emotion life with relation to relevant examples. Finally the conclusion will provide a summary of what has been discussed throughout the essay.
Hochschild in her book “The Managed Heart” (1983) suggests that emotion management refers to how we regulate our emotion which leads to a visible body or facial display (Hochschild, 1983). She proposes that feeling rules are rules that set expectations about how we should feel in certain situations. For example we understand that we should feel, or at least appear to feel sad at a funeral due to our feeling rules (Hochschild, 1983). Hochschild suggests that emotional labour is the management of emotion within the work place that is exchanged for economic gain whereas emotion work is conducted in a private environment which could include how we would behave around family or friends (Hochschild, 1983). Job roles which particularly require emotion labour include nurses, doctors or waiting staff as these jobs require face-to-face contact with the public and they also require the worker to produce an expected emotional state. Hochschild also suggested that there are three types of emotion work; cognitive, bodily and expressive. Cognitive emotion work is where the individual attempts to change ideas or thoughts and the feelings which are associated with them. Bodily emotional work on the other hand attempts to alter physical characteristics to generate an anticipated emotion. Finally, expressive emotion work, according to Hochschild, is where an individual attempts to modify expressive gestures to alter inner feelings (Hochschild, 1983).
An interesting study conducted by Hochschild looked at the airline industry in the 1980’s and how stewardesses are trained to manage their emotions. She conducted interviews with staff from both Delta and Pan American airlines (Williams, 2008). Hochschild found that the employees were told that managing their emotions was a priority within the companies and many of the employees conducted deep...

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