For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Emotional labour and skill: A reappraisal"

by Payne, Jonathan (2009)


The article seeks to open up a critical discussion around the idea of emotional labour as skilled work. It has been suggested by some commentators that many front-line service jobs, traditionally thought of as low skilled in terms of their technical aspects, may actually constitute a form of skilled work, since they require their holders to perform skilled emotional labour in their dealings with customers. Such discourses hold out the possibility of progress not only in intellectual terms but also with regard to improving the status and pay of many low-waged service workers. The article subjects these claims to critical scrutiny and argues that applying the label ?skill? to all forms of emotion work is extremely problematic.


Skills, Education, Knowledge, Understanding, Qualitifations, Emotion, Emotional Labor


Women and Work, Skills

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