Seminar: Organisational image and the emotional labour of organisations
  • Room 207, Rolle Building, Plymouth University

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This Institute of Health and Community seminar is led by Professor Ann Brooks.

Organisations are increasingly concerned with organisational image and this emphasis has impacted on private and personal lives. The issue of where an organisational identity ends and where the privacy of personal identity begins becomes problematic. The organisational concern with identity and control carries significant implications for a wider notion of identity because it raises questions of the extent to which workers can securely claim for themselves an identity beyond the organisation. 

In this paper Ann looks at how organisational image has an impact on the politics of privacy in relation to a number of areas including: (i) the emotional labour of organisations (see Hochschild 2003, 2008; Wharton 2009); (ii) the work-life balance and how privacy is increasingly eroded by the identity economy (see Cameron 2000); (iii) the politics of leisure and privacy where areas such as the consumption of alcohol, relationships and sex is increasingly defined by a wider organisational identity. As an example of the kind of issues being raised in the paper Ann will focus on the emotional labour of organisations, drawing on examples from the UK, US and elsewhere.

*This paper was accepted for presentation at the Gender, Work and Organization Conference 24-26 June 2014, University of Keele and is currently under review for a Special Issue of the Journal Gender, Work and Organization, Bodies and Intimate Relations at Work (2015)

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Speaker biography

Ann Brooks is a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Health and Community, Plymouth University (until December 2014). She has recently been appointed as Professor of Sociology at Bournemouth University (effective January 2015). She was previously a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore and Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. She was appointed Professor of Sociology and Cultural Studies at the University of Adelaide, in 2008 and is currently part of the Australian Research Council funded Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, 2011-17. She has also held positions in universities in Singapore and New Zealand. Her research has been concerned with issues of emotional labour in the workplace, migrant domestic labour, and the position and opportunities for academic women in universities. 

Her recent books include: Emotions and Social Change: Historical and Sociological Perspectives (Routledge, 2014) (co-edited with David Lemmings); Emotions in TransmigrationTransformation, Movement and Identity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) (with Ruth Simpson); Gender, Emotions and Labour Markets (Routledge, 2011) and Gendered Work in Asian Cities: The New Economy and Changing Labour Markets (Ashgate, 2006). Ann is working on two new books: Genealogies of Emotions, Intimacy and Desire (Routledge, New York due 2015) and Emotions and Cities (under review).   

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