Emotional labour and solving social work problems
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Original versionStudsrød, I. (2013) Emotional labour and solving social work problems. Journal of comparative social work, 13(1), pp. 1-5
Keywords supplied to the papers in this issue of Journal of Comparative Social Work are argumentation, critical reflection, professional boundary, democratic professionalism, etc. For me, all of these words connote intellectual and rational social work activities or practices. Thus, intellectual thinking and rationalization seem highly pertinent to social work research, as well as professional learning and practices around the world. Nevertheless, when reading through the papers in this issue, I also observed several passages connoting quite different issues, e.g. in the following: “I am a passionate, sensitive, emotional social worker...” (in Liza Manolis’ contribution),“Amina’s words rendered me powerless and I was afraid of the consequences...” (in Vyda Mamley Hervie’s essay), “Important social work concepts such as …empowerment, diversity, self-respect…” ( in Rolv Lyngstad’s article) and “…both of the authors experienced a feeling of loss owing to their attachment to the participants” (in Susanna Rautio’s and Kati Hämäläinen’s contribution). Passionate, sensitive, emotional, powerlessness, fear, empowered, self-respect, feeling of loss, etc. are all labels signifying feelings or emotions among social workers, social work researchers or social work users. Hence, these articles, although some more implicitly, also cover a different matter of the characteristics of social work, i.e. what could be called emotional work or emotional labour (Hochschild, 2003).