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The emotional labour of academics : the rational and the relational


The emotional labour of academics : the rational and the relational

Read-Hunter, Patricia (1997) The emotional labour of academics : the rational and the relational. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Q methodology and unstructured interviews were used to develop a thick description and typology of academics' views of emotional labour. An archetypal factor described an ideal of emotional labour. After it was rotated, a three-factor, polythetic typology emerged, confirmed by content analysis of the interviews. Factors A, B, and C represented "rational," "relational," and "reflective" orientations respectively. Academics who load on Factor A--i.e., hold the "rational" view--are task-oriented, energetic, comfortable with their authority, and seek opportunities to share their enthusiasm for their subjects. They are inner-directed; their primary audience is the internalized "generalized other." Faculty who load on B are "relational": student-oriented, conscious users of emotions, who deliberately involve their feelings in their teaching and student relations. They project an approachability they feel to be central to their praxis and personalities. C represents the approach of "reflective" academics who have blended the rational and the relational, and have a critical perspective on their profession. They acquiesce in institutional demands that faculty form close relationships with students, without feeling inauthenticity. Thirteen Q sorts loaded on two factors, raising questions about the evolution and stability of the types, the meaning of a dual type, and the phenomenological implications. A secondary purpose of the study was to explore the effect of their emotional labour on women academics' career outcomes. The literature suggested that women's experiences would predispose them to perform emotional labour in a different way and to a higher degree than male counterparts. It was anticipated that this would cause gender differences in factor loadings. These proved less marked than expected. More men than women loaded on A; almost twice as many women as men dual-loaded; twice as many women dual-loaded as loaded on any single factor. The gender difference on A approached significance (Ì = .05). For both sexes, more academics loaded on A than B, and B than C. The idea that institutions control women through demands for emotional labour received anecdotal confirmation. Further work will benefit from development of a metric for emotional labour and application of act frequency methodology.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Read-Hunter, Patricia
Pagination:vi, 243 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Department (as was):Faculty of Commerce and Administration
Thesis Supervisor(s):Ashforth, Blake E.
Identification Number:LB 1778 R33 1997
ID Code:214
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 17:10
Last Modified:20 Oct 2022 18:24
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