Emotion Work

Emotion work is the effort involved in manipulating the emotions of oneself and others. Created by Arlie Hochschild, the idea of emotion work fits under the broader umbrella of “emotion management,” the work required to generate feelings that are “appropriate” for a situation. Hochschild's conceptualization of emotion management develops a social constructionist view of emotions that builds from Erving Goffman, Sigmund Freud, and Karl Marx. In expanding this work to create her model, Hochschild makes distinctions between “surface-acting” and “deep-acting,” as well as “emotion work” and “emotional labor.”

According to Goffman, people seek deference from others, prompting interaction. Through interaction, we try to manage the impressions of ourselves formed in the minds of others, and these interactions arouse emotions within ourselves. When impression management is successful, ...

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