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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>The Managed Heart 2 Summary

The Managed Heart 2

Book Summary   by:likelyculprit     Original Author: Jon Ward
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Hochschild also believes that these
types of jobs involve so-called feeling rules.
What she means by this is that it was not okay for an employee to merely
smile and act in a certain way, but that they actually had to feel that way and
mean it. This type of feeling rules can
force one to change their “deep feelings,” or how they feel inside and make
them unable to separate between their real and acted feelings. I certainly felt these “feeling rules” at my
workplace, and eventually I would unconsciously act the way I knew I was supposed
to without thinking about it. In a way
the feeling rules did make it difficult to distinguish between my outer and
inner feelings. Thinking back I am
really unsure of whether or not I tried to create a comfortable and happy
experience for the customers because I wanted to, or because that is what the
emotional labor and feeling rules required of me. I did not know if I was really feeling this way or merely acting
as if I did.


Hochschild uses
the example of acting to represent this idea of surface versus deep
acting. She says that an actor is
performing a surface act, that is, the actor is trying to portray a feeling or
emotion but is not actually having that emotion inside. This is similar to how I felt at work. It was almost as if I was acting everyday
and using my surface acting to give the customers a better experience. Although my deep acting may have been
completely different, feeling rules required this emotional labor.


Hochschild says
that along with the previously mentioned emotion work and feeling rules,
interpersonal exchange is important in the make up of our personal emotional
system (Hochschild, 76). Feeling rules
set the guidelines for this type of emotional exchange. The example given by Hochschild is the
situation in which some sort of novice is given advice from an expert. The novice, or advice seeker, gives
gratitude and a feeling of inferiority to the expert as an exchange for the
advice and time lost for the expert to help the novice. In this way both parties make a gain in this
emotional exchange. And the feeling
rules that guide this exchange are seen in the way the novice must act as if he
is inferior while the expert has an ego-enhancement. I also saw a similar exchange to this at my workplace. While I gave the customers my respect I
received in exchange their gratitude for making their experience at the movies
a good one. In this way we both benefited from the emotional exchange. And in turn this led to me wanting to create
a comfortable atmosphere for the customers and not just merely surface
acting. It made the emotional labor I
was performing more meaning for me and prevented a huge difference between how
I actually felt and how I acted towards the customers.
Published: August 31, 2005   
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