Learning to Labor with Feeling: Class, Gender, and Emotion in Childcare Education and Training

  • Helen Colley
Part of the Marxism and Education book series (MAED)


The words above arrived through my letterbox one day, blazoned across a leaflet for a private nursery nearby. While the purchase of education and care has come to seem commonplace in a world of privatized services, this offer promises something more deeply significant. Here, love itself—one of the most powerful and intimate of human emotions—is one of the products for sale, a distinctive part of the total childcare package.


Female Student Emotional Intelligence Emotional Labor Emotional Demand Emotional Work 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ball, S.J. and C. Vincent, C. (2000) “Educare” and Edubusiness: the Emergence of an Imperfect and Classed Market in Childcare Services? Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, University of Cardiff, September 8–10.Google Scholar
  2. Bates, I. (1990) No Bleeding, Whining Minnies: the Role of YTS in Class and Gender Reproduction. British Journal of Education and Work, 2: 91–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bates, I. (1991) Closely Observed Training: an Exploration of Links between Social Structures, Training and Identity. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 1: 225–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bates, I. (1994) A Job Which is “Right for Me”? Social Class, Gender and Individualization. In I. Bates and G. Riseborough (eds.) Youth and Inequality, 14–31 (Buckingham: Open University Press).Google Scholar
  5. Blau, D.M. (1999) The Effect of Child Care Characteristics on Child Development. Journal of Human Resources, 34: 786–822.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bourdieu, P. (1986) Distinction: a Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  7. Bourdieu, P. (2001) Masculine Domination (Cambridge: Polity Press).Google Scholar
  8. Cameron, D. (2000) Good to Talk? Living and Working in a Communication Culture (London: Sage).Google Scholar
  9. Colley, H. (2002) From Childcare Practitioner to FE Tutor: Biography, Vocational Culture and Gender in the Transition of Professional Ident ities. Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, University of Exeter, September 12–14.Google Scholar
  10. Colley, H., D. James, M. Tedder, and K. Diment (2003) Learning as Becoming in Vocational Education and Training: Class, Gender and the Role of Vocational Habitus. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 4: 471–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dahlberg, G., P. Moss, and A. Pence (1999) Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care: Postmodern Perspectives (London: Falmer Press).Google Scholar
  12. Department for Education and Skills (2005) White Paper on 14–19 Education and Skills (London: The Stationery Office).Google Scholar
  13. Elfer, P., E. Goldschmied, and D. Selleck (2003) Key Persons in the Nursery: Building Relationships for Quality Provision (London: David Fulton).Google Scholar
  14. Fenwick, T. (2004) What Happens to the Girls? Gender, Work and Learning in Canada’s “New Economy.” Gender and Education, 2, 169–86. ( Scholar
  15. Frykholm, C.U. and R. Nitzler (1993) Working Life as a Pedagogical Discourse: Empirical Studies of Vocational and Career Education Based on Theories of Bourdieu and Bernstein. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 5: 433–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goleman, D. (1996) Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ (London: Bloomsbury).Google Scholar
  17. Griffin, C. (1985) Typical Girls (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  18. Harris, L.C. (2002) The Emotional Labour of Barristers: an Exploration of Emotional Labour by Status Professionals. Journal of Management Studies, 4: 553–84. ( Scholar
  19. Heller, A. (1979) A Theory of Feelings (Assen: Van Gorcum).Google Scholar
  20. Hochschild, A.R. (1983) The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling (Berkeley: University of California Press).Google Scholar
  21. Hodkinson, P. and D. James (2003) Introduction: Transforming Learning Cultures in Further Education. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 4: 389–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hopkins, J. (1988) Facilitating the Development of Intimacy between Nurses and Infants in Day Nurseries. Early Child Development and Care, 33: 99–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hughes, J. (2005) Bringing Emotion to Work: Emotional Intelligence, Employee Resistance and the Reinvention of Character. Work, Employment and Society, 3: 603–25. ( Scholar
  24. James, N. (1989) Emotional Labour: Skill and Work in the Social Regulation of Feelings. Sociological Review, 1: 15–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Laing and Buisson (2005) Statistics and Information: Childcare. (, accessed March 10, 2005).
  26. Low Pay Commission (2005) The Effects of the National Minimum Wage on Specific Sectors and on Small Firms: Childcare. (, accessed March 10, 2005).
  27. Mann, S. (2004) “People-work”: Emotion Management, Stress and Coping, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 2: 205–21. ( Scholar
  28. Martin, J., K. Knopoff, and C. Beckman (2000) Bounded Emotionality at the Body Shop. In S. Fineman (ed.) Emotion in Organizations, 115–40 (London: Sage).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Marx, K. (1865, 1975) Wages, Price and Profit (Moscow: Progress Publishers).Google Scholar
  30. Miller, L., E. Pollard, F. Neathey, D. Hill, and H. Ritchie (2005) Gender Segregation in Apprenticeships (Manchester: Equal Opportunities Commission).Google Scholar
  31. Nowotny, H. (1981) Women in Public Life in Australia. In C. Fuchs Epstein and R. Laub Coser (eds.) Access to Power: Cross-national Studies of Women and Elites, 149–65 (London: George Allen and Unwin).Google Scholar
  32. O’Connor, H. and J. Goodwin (2002) “She Wants to Be Like Her Mum?” Girls’ Transitions to Work in the 1960s, Unpublished Paper, Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester.Google Scholar
  33. Price, H. (2001) Emotional Labour in the Classroom: a psychoanalytic perspective. Journal of Social Work Practice: 161–80. (
  34. Reay, D. (1998) Cultural Reproduction: Mothers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Primar y Schooling. In M. Grenfell and D. James (eds.) Bourdieu and Education: Acts of Practical Theory, 55–71 (London: Falmer Press).Google Scholar
  35. Reay, D. (2000) A Useful Extension of Bourdieu’s Conceptual Framework? Emotional Capital as a Way of Understanding Mothers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Education. The Sociological Review, 4: 568–85. ( Scholar
  36. Scarr, S. (1998) American Child Care Today. American Psychologist, 53: 9–108. ( Scholar
  37. Sharma, U. and P. Black (2001) Look Good, Feel Better: Beauty Therapy as Emotional Labour. Sociology, 4: 913–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Skeggs, B. (1997) Formations of Class and Gender (London: Sage).Google Scholar
  39. Steedman, C. (1982) The Tidy House: Little Girls Writing (London: Virago).Google Scholar
  40. Thompson, A. (1998) Not the Color Purple: Black Feminist Lessons for Educational Caring. Harvard Educational Review, 4: 522–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tietze, W., D. Cryer, J. Bairrao, J. Palacios, and G. Wetzel (1996) Comparisons of Observed Process Quality in Early Child Care and Education Programmes in Five Countries. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 4: 447–75. ( Scholar
  42. Tronto, J. (1989) Women and Caring: What Can Feminists Learn about Morality from Caring? In A.M. Jaggar and S.R. Bordo (eds.) Gender/Body/Knowledge: Feminist Reconstructions of Being and Knowing, 172–88 (New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press).Google Scholar
  43. Vincent, C. and S. Warren (2000) Education for Motherhood? In C. Vincent (ed.) Including Parents? Education, Citizenship and Parental Agency (Buckingham: Open University Press).Google Scholar
  44. Walkerdine, V. and H. Lucey (1989) Democracy in the Kitchen: Regulating Mothers and Socialising Daughters (London: Virago).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter E. Jones 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Colley

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations