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Feeling Rules and Emotion Labor: A Poststructural-Discursive Approach to English Language Teachers’ Emotions

  • Sarah BeneschEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)

Abstract

Responding to increased attention to emotions in English language teaching, this chapter proposes a poststructural-discursive approach that considers the social context and power relations. After discussion of the assumptions of a poststructural-discursive approach, two conceptual tools are introduced: feeling rules and emotion labor. These tools highlight institutional regulation of emotions and teachers’ compliance with or resistance to that regulation.

Feeling rules and emotion labor are illustrated using data gathered from interviews with English language teachers at a US university about the university’s attendance policy, instructors’ own policies, and their reactions to students’ lateness and absence. The data revealed that the attendance policy’s implicit and contradictory feeling rules of vigilance and flexibility generated emotion labor in the teachers, who were tasked with implementing the policy. As to teachers’ responses to lateness and absence, these revealed three emotion-labor discourses: a discourse of teachers’ embodied performance, a discourse of students’ embodied performance, and a discourse of teachers’ emotional in-filling when students were absent. The chapter concludes with implications for pedagogy and English language teacher education to highlight teachers’ emotions and emotion labor from a poststructural-discursive perspective.

Keywords

Teachers’ emotions Emotion labor Power Poststructural-discursive approach Attendance 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Staten IslandThe City University of New YorkStaten IslandUSA

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