Emotional Labor in Academia: Burdens, Metrics, and Compensation

Citation:
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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Librarians and Cultural Humility: Check Your Privileges and Recognize Your Biases

Citation:
Twanna Hodge, Integrating Cultural Humility into Public Services Librarianship, INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION & LIBRARY REVIEW, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1080/10572317.2019.1629070.

This article was written by the first-ever Diversity Resident Librarian at the University of Utah library. In it, the author challenges public services librarians to explore and address their implicit biases, and to incorporate cultural humility in their librarianship practice.

Of course, this type of exercise in self-auditing and vulnerability can be difficult and uncomfortable for people who engage in it. As the author points out, some of our most pervasive biases develop on a subconscious level from the time we are very young, as we process messages and opinions about the world, other people, and other cultures that we get from our families, our friends, and others. These types of biases, which include “both favorable and unfavorable assessments” are, as the author notes, “pervasive.” However, this does not mean that they have to be permanent.

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