CHAPTER I – INTRODUCTION

 

1.1.Background to the
study

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The role of emotions in the workplace has stirred a
great deal of interest since the book The
Managed Heart (Hochschild, 1983) was published. Emotional labour came into
existence as a new term referring to the management of emotions to fulfill or
increase the efficiency by Hochschild. With this regard, the term has begun to
appeal to a number of researchers, with an increasing rate (Abraham, 1999; Cote
& Morgan, 2002).

Emotional
labour was put forward as a term, by Hochshild, 2003, to define the burden or
work load that service workers, facing human interaction frequently, are
subject to. Such burden stems from the fact that these workers are usually
supposed to display different emotions than they really feel. Take a flight
attendant, for example, who has to keep smiling all day long no matter how
depressed or sad he/she feels, during her/his work hours, which in return
brings some important effects in job satisfaction, desire to leave the job, and
burnout level.

Emotional
labour reveals itself in two ways, as Hochshild points out; surface acting and
deep acting. Surface acting is the way service workers or providers try to
change their outward appearances and control the body language in a way that
the organization asks for.  As for the
other way, deep acting, it is a way of displaying feelings that are
internalized by the worker and this is much deeper than body language or
outward appearance.

Hocshild also mentioned about
the transition that working life has gone thorough so far. He emphasized the
need for physical work during the industrial age and how human work force was
used like a machine, but not treated as a human being. Following this age,
service works became dominant factor in work force, and the proportion of physical
works in the labour diminished dramatically. This time, the pressure on service
workers was rather emotional than physical.

Based on different perspectives, it can also be
classified in several ways. Morris and Feldman (1996) put it into four
dimensions; frequency, duration, and intensity of displaying the behaviour or
emotion along with rules of behaviours.

 On the other
hand, Diefendorff, Croyle, & Gosserand (2005) put forward a study
suggesting another dimension of emotional labour which can supplement the two
aforementioned dimensions, naturally-felt emotions, which, contrary to surface
acting and deep acting, does not convey any obligation to display certain behaviours
(Basim
& Begenirbas, 2012).

In this case, the emotions are internalized so that employee never feels the
need to act. In the case of surface acting, the emotions are not internalized;
they are seen just obligatory and far from being the employee’s real feeling,
whereas with regard to deep acting, the emotions are more internalized, but not
more than naturally-felt emotions, of course.   

As Van Gelderen, Konijn, and Bakker (2011) points out,
emotional labour is directly related to human service professions, wherein
frequent contact between service provider and recipient is vital element of the
work. In accordance with that view, Schaufeli and Enzmann (1998, p. 124) puts
forward the idea that emotional labour is crucial to grasp the meaning of
burnout as emotional labour deals with an essential aspect of service provider
and recipient.

Teaching is
also a profession that requires a great deal of emotional labour, which causes
its professionals, teachers, to manage and manipulate their emotions while
contacting with their students or parents. As an important part of their
profession, teachers have to control their emotions and display emotions through
which their leaners could be motivated or encouraged to the subject of the
class (Hochschild, 1983). The appropriate emotions
displayed by the teachers in or outside the class vary from satisfaction,
affection, disappointment, and anger to sympathy and warmth, which constitutes
most of the emotional labour teachers go through.

            When it comes to burnout, with a broader definition, it
can be described as the conflicts arising between caregivers’ relationships
with their recipients and limitations in the organizational level, which can be
regarded as a problem belonging to the group of human service providers such as
social workers, nurses, mental health workers, and teachers. Burnout may
manifest itself in three ways; a) emotional exhaustion, which is loss of energy
or wearing out, b) depersonalization, meaning irritability, loss of idealism,
and negative attitudes of service providers to the service receivers, and c) reduced
personal accomplishment, a component which makes itself felt as loss in
self-esteem and low morale as well as feeling incompetent to cope with demands.

As
a profession that requires a lot of human interaction, teaching also leads to a
great deal of burnout among its service providers, teachers.  The stress leading to burnout among teachers
mostly come from the fact that they feel not only responsible towards their
students and the parents but also the school administration, and the needs or
characteristics of students change so rapidly that teachers find themselves in
a position where they need to renew themselves as frequently as possible, which
increases the stress on teachers (Smylie, 1999).