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ERIC Number: EJ994381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 93
ISSN: ISSN-1683-1381
Emotion Management of Teaching: Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interactionism
Tsang, Kwok Kuen
New Horizons in Education, v60 n2 p83-94 Oct 2012
Background: Recently, studies have found that more and more teachers in Hong Kong express negative feelings toward their work, such as feelings of dissatisfaction, exhaustion, meaningless and powerless. These negative emotional experiences may affect both their well-being and the quality of their teaching. In order to have a better understanding of this phenomenon, researchers employ the sociological concept of emotion management. Therefore, this paper reviews different sociological perspectives on the phenomenon in order to give recommendations for educational reforms and policies and for further research on teachers' emotional experiences at work in Hong Kong. Aims or focus of discussion: This article considers two major sociological approaches to understanding emotion management in teaching: conflict theory and symbolic interactionism. At the end of the discussion, implications for educational reforms and policies and recommendations for further research are suggested respectively. Arguments/comments/suggestions: The article argues that symbolic interactionism is a more appropriate approach to understanding emotion management of teaching than conflict theory because it considers the effects of both structural conditions and teachers' agency on teachers' emotions. Thus, it may provide a more comprehensive and realistic account and framework for our investigation. Conclusion: The article suggests that we should study teachers' emotional experiences at work in Hong Kong from a symbolic interactionist perspective of emotion management of teaching. Accordingly, we should try to answer the following questions: What are teachers' expectations about their work? What are the conditions of their work? Are there gaps between their expectations and reality? What are the constraints that affect the realization of their expectations? What emotions do they actually experience at work? In order to answer these questions more effectively, this article recommends adopting in-depth qualitative methods of investigation.
Hong Kong Teachers' Association. 242 Nathan Road, National Court 7/F, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tel: +852-2367-3420; Fax: +852-2722-4813; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong