Emotion work

Emotion work has been defined as the management of one's own feelings or as "work done in a conscious effort to maintain the well being of a relationship" The terms "emotional labor" and "emotion work" are often used interchangeably, which can lead to confusion. Emotional labor refers to the emotional work done in a paid work setting. While emotion work relates to the unpaid emotional work that a person undertakes in their relationships with family and friends. Examples of emotion work include showing affection, apologizing after an argument, bringing up problems that need to be addressed in an intimate relationship or any kind of interpersonal relationship, and making sure the household runs smoothly. Cultural norms often imply that emotion work is reserved for females.

See also


  • Hochschild, Arlie Russel. "Emotion Work, Feeling Rules and Social Structure.” American Journal of Sociology Vol. 85 No. 3 (1979): 551-575
  • Kimmel, Michael S. The Gendered Society (2004): 237-238

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