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Journal Article

Emotion Work, Feeling Rules, and Social Structure

Arlie Russell Hochschild
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 85, No. 3 (Nov., 1979), pp. 551-575
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2778583
Page Count: 25
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Emotion Work, Feeling Rules, and Social Structure
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Abstract

This essay proposes an emotion-management perspective as a lens through which to inspect the self, interaction, and structure. Emotion, it is argued, can be and ofter is subject to acts of management. The individual often works on inducing or inhibiting feelings so as to render them "appropriate" to a situation. The emotion-management perspective draws on an interactive account of emotion. It differs from the dramaturgical perspective on the one hand and the psychoanalytic perspective on the other. It allows us to inspect at closer range than either of those perspectives the relation among emotive experience, emotion management, feeling rules, and ideology. Feeling rules are seen as the side of ideology that deals with emotion and feeling. Emotion management is the type of work it takes to cope with feeling rules. Meaning-making jobs, more common in the middle class, put more premium on the individual's capacity to do emotion work. A reexamination of class differences in child rearing suggest that middle-class families prepare their children for emotion management more and working-class families prepare them less. In this way each prepares its children to psychologically reproduce the class structure.

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