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The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  599 ratings  ·  44 reviews
In private life we try to induce or suppress love, envy, and anger through deep acting or "emotional work," just as we manage our outer expressions through surface acting. But what happens when this system of adjusting emotions is adapted to commercial purposes? Hochschild examines the cost of this kind of "emotional labor." She vividly describes from a humanist and femini ...more
Paperback, 339 pages
Published June 15th 2003 by University of California Press (first published November 1983)
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Kathryn Coffman
Oct 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Gender/minority class study interest, psychology and sociology college students
Hochschild perfectly captures the perils of emotional labor in this book. Reading this in my college class, I was able to perform some empirical research inspired by Hochschild's work and realized, as a retail employee myself, how much corporations and companies can commercialize off your emotions. The comparisons between male and female workers were not shocking, but very intriguing, and surprised me when I experienced them face-to-face while researching. Even as an employee who utilizes emotio ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I might be slightly fangirling over Arlie Hochschild!!!

But 'objectively' speaking, this book made so much sense. I am grateful, as the other people mentioned in this book are, for Hochschild to put a name on something that we have all felt: emotional labour.

As someone with an *undisclosed job* I would often feel so exhausted after work ended, which would end up in resentment because I felt like I gave so much of 'myself' away. Now that I have a better understand of what's
Chantal ❤️
Nov 18, 2016 marked it as dnf
Downloaded this book by mistake for a buddy read.
Nothing wrong with this book.
Please enjoy but it was not the book I was looking for.

I hadn't really heard people mention this as an iconic feminist classic (Hochschild coined the term "emotional labor"), but it definitely should be considered as one I think. Extremely readable and interesting. The things that flight attendants were expected to do!! The levels of sexual harassment that the companies brushed off as being "part of public-facing work" makes my blood boil. Although this focuses on the case study of flight attendants, it really applies to all of us.
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Well, first things first: After reading this book, you will not be able to see "View from the Top" the same way again.


Hollywood sugar-coating stuff. Who knew?

When I was little, I noticed a strange thing. My parents seemed to really hate it when I raised my voice, but let my brother do his thing without a second thought. When I was little, I thought itclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the seminal sociological work that coined the term "emotional labor," now widely used to identify the unique psychological burdens placed on women and (often female) service workers. Hochschild locates emotions not just as naturally or spontaneously occurring, but as social objects that are socially mediated, and can be coaxed into different forms. She illustrates the ways that "emotional gift exchange" functions in our personal social lives, as well as the emotional machinery of "deep acting" ...more
Oct 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
There were some important takeaways for anyone working in a service-driven field. When customer service is treated as a commodity and not the genuine culture of an organization, there is a toll exacted on employees. I have saved some of the passages to continue examining the toll of customer service work as burnout can be common in my industry and education on customer service isn't a standard part of graduate school education for library science.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great read and a diligent effort to understand how emotional work has been commercialized. It remains remarkably relevant even though the decades since its publication have seen the study of emotional labor expand greatly and the continued evolution of work has gone in unexpected if not unimagined directions. Reading it from the perspective of a union organizer, and more generally as an advocate for social justice, the book illuminated important but overlooked ways that power and control are e ...more
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Phenomenal book that really resonated with me.

Hochschild talks about the how commercial enterprises have put a value on emotions and how people have learned to detach themselves from their emotions, smiles, etc. in order to achieve a company objective.

She calls this sot of work emotional labor, a source of work that falls primarily on women in occupations such as secretary or flight attendant whom are expected to always have a cheerful smile written across their faces. A cheerful smile - the h
Holli Hanson
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be a helpful tool in learning about Emotional Labor. As a woman in the business world, I've spent/wasted much of my time managing other people's feelings. It was good to take some time to consider how and why I've been doing some of the things I have been doing.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book articulates one of those vague things you think about in the back of your mind but never put roger there. It’s an extremely smart look at the service economy, and a depressing one as not much has changed 40 years later. Minus one star for organization that could have been tightened up.
Anurag Sharma
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book as part of group assignment.
This is a phenomenal book in the way it explores various and numerous linkages between work life and personal life.
In the first part of the book she explores what emotions are and how they constitute an intrinsically precious part of one’s identity. What I feel in a particular context tells me how to understand an event in my life and how to respond to it, in addition to helping me understand better the context that I find myself in. Emoti
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Reads like an academic study of flight attendants that was turned into a book. That's not a complaint. The author uses flight attendants to explain the book's core concept: "emotional labor."

The idea here is that, in Marx's day, laborers were alienated from their work physically as they trudged through repetitive task (the author notes that even Adam Smith found that this was an unappealing aspect of the division of labor). The author's perspective on today's work shows a different kind of alie
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
funny story how I came to read this book! I was called out on Twitter for misusing the term "emotional labor" and applying it to the context of men who exploit the emotional labor of women and femmes, and should pay us with money to compensate. white leftists wanted me to know that "well, actually" Hochschild coined the term "emotional labor" to describe the emotion management and performance that service workers have to do in the context of their jobs, and created a separate term, "emotion work ...more
Elina Salminen
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It talks of things that now seem commonsensical, using a somewhat haphazard scholarly method, but somehow is refreshing, eye-opening, and a joy to read. It was originally published in the early 80s, using data covering big shifts in the corporate world between the 70s and then. Through Russell Hochschild's eyes, the reader can get both an ethnographic and historical lens to emotional labor and see it as a fascinating phenomenon instead of merely something to gripe about. (Note ...more
Zachary Jacobi
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction-2017
This book was rough on me (and on my whole book club!). Each of us found ourselves unable to process our emotions for a short while after reading it. First be warned of that.

Second, I found this book a bit of a disappointment compared to other books by Professor Hochschild. The other books I've read by her had much more in the way of interviews with subjects. I find her at her best when using interviews as fodder for theorizing. Her theorizing on its own was considerably drier.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an important book, but the research is focused on the airline industry and the claims are about emotional labour in general (a pretty big leap). Strictly sociology, doesn't engage directly in economic debates (to its detriment i think). I didn't find the "divided self" idea very convincing, either.
Jimmy Jonecrantz
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociology
I didn't have time to finish this book when I studied sociology, but I really liked the concept of Emotional labour, and thus decided to finish it now at a later time. This book has stuck with me, and I can gladly say that it inspired me to think in new ways about work and relationships.
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-english
thesis research never felt so good
((((see what i did there?))))
Jun 23, 2011 rated it liked it
(Yes, it took me a long time to finish this book…)

And although it is a wee bit 'dated' in that it is 20+ years old, this book still very relevant. Definitely not written as many books are today (with the popular audience in mind) but still highly readable and relevant—particularly as so many jobs have shifted more heavily toward the service end, and as the effects of branding has started to bled both through social media and physical/employee representation. In fact, I do think that
Ana Krijpen
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the most eye-opening books I've read. Highly recommended before you take your next plane ride.
Pradeep Kumar
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
i found it very difficult to comprehend the takeaway message of the boom. Just too technical for me.
Alisha Mays
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love! Both as a sociologist and as someone with a genuine interest in the art of human emotions, feelings, and care work.
Alexandre Zakarian
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've been meaning to read this for a while, anyone who works with people would be interested in reading it in my opinion. I liked looking at Emotional Labor from a feminism perspective. I liked the anecdotal examples, made the theoretical parts of chapters less dry.
It was interesting to read about a concept I have felt for years in my work but couldn't put a name to it.
Andra D.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find it amazing that Hochschild developed her theory on emotional labour and deep/ surface acting more or less in the same time that Foucault was working on governmentality and technologies of the self. While relying heavily on Hoffman’s stage-actors model and on Freudian psychoanalytic theory, Hochschild offers insights into a new form of labour leading to methods of commodification more profound than ever. Written more or less at the beginning of what many call ‘neoliberalism’ and the disman ...more
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Classic sociological study. Hochschild argues that emotions are socially constructed, rather than innate (as we often think of them being). Her in-depth ethnographic research yielded rich data which, when combined with interviews, made this book a deeply engrossing sociological narrative.
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a sociologist, but I've found the concept of emotional labor extremely valuable in formulating and conceptualizing my own research, because it so clearly binds emotional ties to the political economy. This is a brilliant book.
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this for a sociology class, and I was really intrigued by it. It definitely makes you consider the value of emotions in the workplace, and respect the people in careers that require "emotional labor."
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most influential books in the realm of the sociology of emotion.
Susan Klinke
Very dated. I should have read the updated 2003 edition.
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Arlie Russell Hochschild is the author of The Outsourced Self, The Time Bind, Global Woman, The Second Shift, and The Managed Heart. She is a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her articles have appeared in Harper's, Mother Jones, and Psychology Today, among others. She lives in San Francisco.
“Sincerity” is detrimental to one’s job, until the rules of salesmanship and business become a “genuine” aspect of oneself. —C. Wright Mills” 0 likes
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