Burdens of Women in Academia, Continued…

Citation #1:
Amani El-Alayli, Ashley A. Hansen-Brown, and Michelle Ceynar, Dancing Backwards in High Heels: Female Professors Experience More Work Demands and Special Favor Requests, Particularly from Academically Entitled Students, Sex Roles (2018) 79:136-150, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-017-0872-6

Citation #2: Marlene L. Daut, Becoming Full Professor While Black, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 29, 2019, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Becoming-Full-Professor-While/246743

My previous post was about how women in academia are especially burdened to perform uncompensated emotional labor. That theme continues today, albeit with a twist.

The article I had originally scheduled to read today is the first one listed above, which reports two studies conducted by the authors. The authors posited that university students have certain gender-based expectations of their professors, and that they expect female professors to conform to female-specific stereotypes of acting warm and nurturing. Accordingly, female professors are subjected to more scrutiny and more criticism than their male counterparts, especially if they are disinclined to act like “academic mothers.”

The authors further believed that a key variable in this phenomenon is “academic entitlement,” which indicates whether and how much the student feels he or she is owed this treatment by his or her professors.

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Emotional Labor in Academia: Burdens, Metrics, and Compensation

Brandi Lawless (2018) Documenting a labor of love: emotional labor as academic labor, Review of Communication, 18:2, 85-97, DOI: 10.1080/15358593.2018.1438644

I started reading what is considered to be the seminal treatise on emotional labor, Arlie Russell Hochschild’s The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, a few months ago. This book so resonated with me that I found I wanted to note and respond to about 10 things on every page. Since that takes a lot of time and energy, I am only about 30 pages in so far.

The main thing this book has awakened in me is a strong interest in understanding what emotional labor is (essentially, it is the regulation and suppression of your own emotions in response to customer needs and expectations when performing a service-oriented job) and how it shapes workplace culture and interactions.

Brandi Lawless’s 2018 article focuses on the impact of emotional labor in academia, which is a subject I have been thinking about throughout my career, especially in the last year or so. Although Professor Lawless is a communications professor and not a librarian, I recognized myself and my librarianship practice in which she writes here.

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