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Reference: Jonathan Payne, (2006). What's wrong with emotional labour?.Citable link to this page:


What's wrong with emotional labour? Subtitle: SKOPE Research Paper No. 65, April 2006Series: SKOPE Research Paper

Abstract: It is often argued that traditional notions of 'skill' are becoming outmoded and nede to change if they are to capture the realities of work in the modern economy. One factor said to require new thinking on skill is the developments taking place within an expanding service sector where a growing proportion of the workforce is now engaged in face-to-face and/or voice-to-voice interactions with customers. This has prompted several commentators to ask whether many low waged service jobs, traditionally thought of as being low skilled in terms of their technical aspects, may actually constitute a form of highly skilled work since they require their holders to perform 'emotional labour' (the deployment and self-management of which is said to be a complex and high level skill). Using a social constructionist perspective, the argument is then advanced that because such jobs are done mainly by women, the real skill content often goes unnoticed and remains poorly rewarded. Such discourses hold out the possibility of progress not only intellectual terms but also in terms of improving the status and pay of many low waged service workers. This paper subjects such claims to critical scrutiny and argues that the application of the label 'skill' to all jobs involving emotion work is not only unhelpful but also potentially dangerous.

Publication status:PublishedPeer Review status:Peer reviewedVersion:Publisher's version Funder: Economic and Social Research Council  

Bibliographic Details

Publisher: ESRC Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE)

Publisher Website: http://www.skope.ox.ac.uk/

Series:SKOPE Research Paper

Series website:http://www.skope.ox.ac.uk/publications

Issue Date: 2006

Copyright Date: 2006 Identifiers

Issn: 1466-1535

Urn: uuid:9e97dbbd-ff7f-47d2-8d97-0d4dba837517 Item Description

Type: Research paper;

Language: en

Version: Publisher's versionKeywords: skillsSubjects: Education Tiny URL: ora:3952


Author: Jonathan Payne - institutionUniversity of Warwick facultySKOPE - - - - Bibliographic Details Publisher: ESRC Centre on Skills, Kn

Source: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:9e97dbbd-ff7f-47d2-8d97-0d4dba837517


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