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ERIC Number: EJ1113425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-1522-7502
Writing Center Administration and/as Emotional Labor
Jackson, Rebecca; McKinney, Jackie Grutsch; Caswell, Nicole I.
Composition Forum, v34 Sum 2016
Scholars have offered research and theory about emotional labor and the feeling of emotion in rhetoric and composition, but we have little if any such research on writing center work specifically. Drawing on data from a year-long qualitative study of writing center directors' labor, this article examines writing center directors' emotional labor as valuable yet undervalued, fulfilling yet fraught. Emotional labor was work our participants had to do--and often wanted to do and enjoyed doing--in order to accomplish (smoothly, swiftly, or at all) the other tasks on their to-do lists. Emotional labor included tasks such as mentoring, advising, making small talk, putting on a friendly face, resolving conflicts, making connections, delegating and following up on progress, working in teams, disciplining or redirecting employees, gaining trust, and creating a positive workplace. Ultimately, participants suggest that emotional labor is difficult not because they must devote so much time to it, but because they have not been adequately prepared to expect and negotiate it.
Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A