Members of worker cooperatives—organizations collectively owned and democratically run by their workers—report substantial differences in how they can or must perform various emotions, compared with previous work at conventional, hierarchical organizations. First, some emotions not allowed in conventional workplaces are fully permitted at worker cooperatives, including negative emotions, like anger, but also positive emotions, like enthusiasm. In contrast, other emotions must be displayed, even if insincere. Sometimes, these displays are accomplished through surface acting, like pretending to happily accept the slow pace of committee-led change. Other times, through deep acting, members internalized new emotional reactions, such as pride, instead of resentment, when helping coworkers even after their own shifts had ended.
Sociology of emotions; organizations, occupations, and work; labor and labor movements
Date of this Version
Hoffmann, Elizabeth. (2015). Emotions and Emotional Labor at Worker-Owned Businesses: Deep Acting, Surface Acting, and Genuine Emotions. The Sociological Quarterly. 57. 10.1111/tsq.12113.