Emotional labour: building contexts for discussions of inequalities

final show display

15 Mar 2018

5pm to 6.30pm

This seminar will draw on the sociology of emotions to explore experiences of participating in discussions of inequality in higher education, especially in relation to race, ethnicity and religious faith.

Practitioners in equality and diversity (whether specialists or seconded staff) address sensitive and emotionally charged issues with colleagues, often for prolonged periods with little recognition of the personal psychological cost to themselves. In contrast, staff who teach or support student learning, not specialists in equality and diversity, are expected to discuss these issues publicly and are often operating within what they perceive as prescribed ways of responding, for example performing ‘outrage’ to news of disparity in the outcomes of students from different ethnic groups.  All participants in these discussions are themselves socially positioned – in terms of ethnicity, gender, class, religious stance, disability and sexual orientation.  Seeing the work of bringing about open and rigorous discussion of inequality through the analytic lens of emotional labour may help to navigate these often challenging and complex interactions.

Participants will be asked to identify assumptions and emotions that underlie quotations, and how they might respond in ways that promote constructive and rigorous debate.

Tutor:
Dr Duna Sabri, Researcher, UAL Institutional Projects.

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