Nadav Spiegelman

The Managed Heart

Author
Arlie Russell Hochschild
My last highlight
2023-07-17
Number of highlights
8

My Highlights

Critics of labor studies, such as Harry Braverman in Labor and Monopoly Capital (1974), point out a continual subdivision of work in many branches of the economy. Complex tasks in which a craftsman used to take pride are divided into simpler, more repetitive segments, each more boring and less well paid than the original job
Critics of labor studies, such as Harry Braverman in Labor and Monopoly Capital (1974), point out a continual subdivision of work in many branches of the economy. Complex tasks in which a craftsman used to take pride are divided into simpler, more repetitive segments, each more boring and less well paid than the original job. Work is deskilled and the worker belittled.
As a miniproject, I interviewed five bill collectors, starting with the head of the Delta billing department, a man whose office overlooked nearly an acre of women sorting billing forms
A nineteenth-century child working in a brutalizing English wallpaper factory and a well-paid twentieth-century American flight attendant have something in common: in order to survive in their jobs, they must mentally detach themselves—the factory worker from his own body and physical labor, and the flight attendant from her own feelings and emotional labor
We often say that we try to feel. But how can we do this? Feelings, I suggest, are not stored “inside” us, and they are not independent of acts of management. Both the act of “getting in touch with” feeling and the act of “trying to” feel may become part of the process that makes the thing we get in touch with, or the thing we manage, into a feeling or emotion. In managing feeling, we contribute to the creation of it
Speaking of modern American hospitals, one commentator observed, “Most hospitals used to be community-based and non-profit. Over the last three decades, the trend has been toward for-profits, but whether American hospitals are non-profit or for-profit, increasingly they are run according to business principles.”9 The Beth Israel Hospital in Boston provides one example. It was once a model of primary nursing care, but then merged with another hospital and restructured. Nurses formerly assigned to a particular group of patients were now assigned to “float” from unit to unit, depending on the number of beds filled on a given day. Staff was laid off. Stripped from the nurse’s role were tasks now defined as “menial”—positioning a post-surgical patient on a chair, feeding an elderly patient, or helping him to the bathroom. Such tasks were now assigned to untrained, lower-paid workers
They were prevented from giving their best
The flight attendant does physical labor when she pushes heavy meal carts through the aisles, and she does mental work when she prepares for and actually organizes emergency landings and evacuations. But in the course of doing this physical and mental labor, she is also doing something more, something I define as emotional labor.* This labor requires one to induce or suppress feeling in order to sustain the outward countenance that produces the proper state of mind in others—in this case, the sense of being cared for in a convivial and safe place. This kind of labor calls for a coordination of mind and feeling, and it sometimes draws on a source of self that we honor as deep and integral to our individuality