SOC344 2018 Tut5 – Mon 16.30pm

We all know what its like to feel the wrong thing at the wrong time. Boredom when you’re meant to be interested (or at least look interested) in that lecture, anxiety when you’re meant to be happy with friends, tiredness when you’re playing with children, and frustration and stress at work. We all know what it means to feel the wrong thing, and then have to pretend – or display – a different feeling, or even somehow make ourselves feel something altogether different. We call this ‘emotion management.’

But how do we manage our emotions? When should we manage them? Should we always try to think happy thoughts – is sadness just bad and troublesome? Or are there social rules about how and when we should do this? Arlie Hochschild suggests that society has ‘feeling rules’ about how we are allowed to feel in given situations – particularly at work – and that these rules impact differently on men and women, with women still doing the bulk of the ‘emotional labour’ involved in care jobs in most countries.

Do you manage your emotions most of the time at work? Or in other areas of life? Does your gender affect this?

#S344UOW18 #Tut5 #Mon1630

Posted in SOC327 - Emotions Bodies and Society, UOW.

6 Comments on SOC344 2018 Tut5 – Mon 16.30pm

Jarrod Wilson said : Guest Report 3 months ago

As we are well aware by now, emotions are a crucial part of what makes us humans and keeps our society functioning. In fact, those who show no emotion are often deemed as outsiders are heartless. On the other hand however, those who show too much emotion are labeled as melodramatic or overemotional. For these reasons, it is essential that as humans we are able to manage our emotions or as conveyed by Hochschild (1979) emotions need to be justifiable. No one wants to be the person laughing at a funeral for example. It is part of a societal grooming process that we obtain from our parents that we understand how each emotion works and how we should function in certain situations, hence why people often react to different circumstances in contrasting ways.

Adriana Temelkova said : Guest Report 3 months ago

Managing our emotions are an important skill to have in our everyday lives which is an end result of social construct reinforcing these notions on us. This concept is one of the first behaviours that we are taught to do at a young age, with our parents and teachers guiding us to understand the difference of what an expectable emotion is and what isn't an exactable emotion to have while being in a certain social context and place. The use of popular films, books and TV programs has also reinforced this by demonstrating how one should act, an example, at a funeral you would see everyone crying not laughing, or at a wedding you would only see 'happy' tears not 'sad' tears. These emotions are further pushed to be participated by the consequence of not following the 'correct' emotion and behaviour for that situation would lead to negative judgement and 'alienation' reactions of the surrounding public. This is steamed from tradition and past generations continuously partaking and linking certain emotions to certain situations, resulting in a universal set of 'rules' for our emotions. Additionally, this creates an automatic and subconscious emotion management that we have learnt to obtain during certain situations that I personally have found myself doing since a young age. #S344UOW18 #Tut5 #Mon1630

Benoit Tuffy said : Guest Report 4 months ago

As is noted by Lara, emotion management enable us as social individuals to manage how we feel and react in certain social situations and contexts. Indeed, Hochschild (1979) references how society analyses and perceives emotions as something that must be justified i.e. we have a right to be angry or sad dependent upon the context and how we can control our emotions. Such emotion management quite often occurs subconsciously, we have been trained to feel certain emotions in certain situations without even thinking about it. Hochschild references this when he discusses the way people are expected to feel and act when attending a wedding or funeral. This ingrained social expectation of how to feel and act strongly correlates with gender. Given modern society still functions in a predominantly patriarchal state, there are certain expectations regarding emotion and gender with women still expected to perform the bulk of labour care and emotional work. Personally, I feel that analysing emotion from a purely social context disregards the dynamic and at times uncontrollable nature of emotions. We have all been in certain situations where the emotion we have felt is seemingly unrelated to the context. For this reason I argue that emotion, whilst structured and influenced by society, extends far beyond it, and as a result it is important for people to not always feel constrained by the way society dictates how they should feel. Hochschild, A.R. (1979) Emotion Work, Feeling Rules, and Social Structure American Journal of Sociology Vol.85 No.3 pp551-575 S344UOW18#Tut5#Mon1630

Sophie Washington said : Guest Report 5 months ago

Hochschild (1979) makes an accurate account of society’s constant referring to emotions as something that must be justified, as though we are able to control how we feel or as though emotions themselves make sense. The ‘right’ to be angry, or the depth of sadness we should feel (p.564). In doing so, we completely neglect the inherent uncontrollable nature of emotion. I do fall into the social mind set or societal guidelines for feeling. I often catch myself judging how much I felt, or my feelings in general and thinking that I shouldn’t feel the way I feel. The reality of emotions is that you can only really control how you display these emotions; you can manage emotions by not allowing them to be observed from the surface –Goffmans concept of acting (cited in Hochschild, 1979, p. 558). You can ignore, neglect and avoid your emotions, but that doesn’t mean they disappear or that you are in control of them, its more about not letting your emotions control you. I definitely make a significant attempt to hide my emotions in many facets of my life; to prevent them from influencing my interactions with others, especially those not involved.  #S344UOW18#Tut5#Mon1630  Hochschild, A.R. (1979) Emotion Work, Feeling Rules, and Social Structure American Journal of Sociology Vol.85 No.3 pp551-575.

Lara Graf said : Guest Report 5 months ago

Emotion management plays an important role in our daily lives as it provides us with tools to manage our feelings in any given social context. Our lives are governed by what society tells us how we should feel along with how to show or not to show our emotions. This notion is supported by Hochschild (1979 pp552) who explains that we are not only “social” but are also “socialised”. I think I do manage my emotions at work, maybe not all the time but definitely some of the time. I work in a retail environment where there are times which require me to manage my emotions. This could be in reference to dealing with customers or work colleagues. If there is an unhappy customer in the department who is rude and demanding, managing your emotions is both important and required. This is to ensure everyone involved remains calm, not show any negative emotion in the situation in order for it to be resolved in a timely manner. Due to the unwritten rules of how we should feel and display our emotions by society, I think I manage my feelings in all areas of my life depending on the context of the situation I might find myself in. I think at times I probably do this without even realising. For example, as discussed in Hochschild’s (1979) article about how we are expected to feel and as a result behave whilst attending a wedding or funeral. At a wedding we are expected to feel joyous and happy whilst at a funeral, sad and unhappy. Anything other than expected emotions, may raise to questions to the person’s feelings as it is opposing the social norms. I think gender does affect how we show our emotion and is evidenced through the type of society we live in which is one of patriarchy. As mentioned earlier, it is how we have been socialised to behave in a certain way, particularly along gender lines, and the expectations that come with that. It is seen to be more acceptable for women to show their emotion more than more men are but not too much otherwise that can have negative impacts. For example, a woman showing her emotions too much being seen as “overly emotional” and a man showing no emotion at all as being “emotionally stunted”. With time, I think this has slowly changed but still more room to change. #S344UOW18#Tut5#Mon1630 Hochschild, A.R. (1979) Emotion Work, Feeling Rules, and Social Structure American Journal of Sociology Vol.85 No.3 pp551-575 Patulny, R. (2018) A managed heart at work and home SOC344: Emotions, Bodies and Society University of Wollongong delivered 26 March 2018

Lara Graf @lmg0602 said : Guest Report 5 months ago

Emotion management plays an important role in our daily lives as it provides us with tools to manage our feelings in any given social context. Our lives are governed by what society tells us how we should feel along with how to show or not to show our emotions. This notion is supported by Hochschild (1979 pp552) who explains that we are not only “social” but are also “socialised”. I think I do manage my emotions at work, maybe not all the time but definitely some of the time. I work in a retail environment where there are times which require me to manage my emotions. This could be in reference to dealing with customers or work colleagues. If there is an unhappy customer in the department who is rude and demanding, managing your emotions is both important and required. This is to ensure everyone involved remains calm, not show any negative emotion in the situation in order for it to be resolved in a timely manner. Due to the unwritten rules of how we should feel and display our emotions by society, I think I manage my feelings in all areas of my life depending on the context of the situation I might find myself in. I think at times I probably do this without even realising. For example, as discussed in Hochschild’s (1979) article about how we are expected to feel and as a result behave whilst attending a wedding or funeral. At a wedding we are expected to feel joyous and happy whilst at a funeral, sad and unhappy. Anything other than expected emotions, may raise to questions to the person’s feelings as it is opposing the social norms. I think gender does affect how we show our emotion and is evidenced through the type of society we live in which is one of patriarchy. As mentioned earlier, it is how we have been socialised to behave in a certain way, particularly along gender lines, and the expectations that come with that. It is seen to be more acceptable for women to show their emotion more than more men are but not too much otherwise that can have negative impacts. For example, a woman showing her emotions too much being seen as “overly emotional” and a man showing no emotion at all as being “emotionally stunted”. With time, I think this has slowly changed but still more room to change. #S344UOW18#Tut5#Mon1630

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