The emotional labour of front line care work
Using a symbolic interactionist approach grounded in the theory of emotion management, this study is a qualitative exploration of emotion in the context of frontline care work. For the purposes of this study, a frontline care worker is defined as a worker paid to provide in-person health or support services directly to an adult client, whether in home or in an institution, and includes a variety of job titles such as care aide, companion, support worker, and nurse. Following in-depth semi-structured interviews, participant talk underwent computer-aided qualitative coding, summarization, and reiterative thematic analysis. In the findings I describe the ways that workers manage their emotions, explore the experiences and consequences of emotional labour among workers, identify three important feeling rules in care work, and expose a number of structural influences that shape workers’ experience of emotional labour.
Emotion Management, Qualitative, Sociology, Health Care, Labour