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This is a *very* good interview defining the term "emotional labor", with Prof. Hochschild, who introduced the term. It speaks to my feeling that the term is applied to scenarios it's not suited best for:

"It seems like this is mostly becoming a popular term in feminist conversations. But if we talk about all the unpaid labor women do in the home as “emotional labor,” we’re insinuating that any kind of labor that falls most often to a woman is “emotional.”"

theatlantic.com/family/archive

distelfliege 🥝(main) @distel
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@rixx I always thought that emotional labor was what in german is called "beziehungsarbeit". to put in work that keeps relationships healthy, keeps a good communication going, so that everyone can feel safe/okay in that interpersonal relationship. (be it at work or at home.)

now I'm curious what the sociologist says about it!

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@rixx hm. interesting! "referred to the work of managing one’s own emotions that was required by certain professions. Flight attendants, who are expected to smile and be friendly even in stressful situations, are the canonical example."

really interesting. and that definition holds a lot of potential for feminist analysis, too.
I'm not a friend of watering down a term until it's rendered meaningless...

@distel Yeah, me neither, so I found her take of "chores are not emotional labor, chores are straight up labor" very helpful. Because it makes talking about *potential* emotional labor involved much clearer and better – it doesn't refer to chores in themselves, but to broken structures that lack support (often for reasons pertinent to feminism, of course).

@distel @rixx the work in maintaining relationships is called emotional work if it's not in a context where you are paid. emotional labor refers to paid labor where in addition to the job requirements, you have to act happy no matter how you are actually feeling (restaurant server, flight attendant, etc).

@metapianycist @rixx that's what was in the article, I have read it in the meantime. but thanks for the term for the unpaid thingy, that was not in the article!