Emotional Labor: The Invisible Work Shaping Our Lives and How To Claim Our Power

Flatiron. Mar. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781250777355. $28.99. WOMEN’S STUDIES
The phrase “emotional labor” has recently become a common part of society’s lexicon, thrown around in magazine articles and television shows. Yet this concept of being asked to perform exhausting, draining work at no extra cost has a depth that routinely goes unacknowledged or ignored, in no small part because of the very devaluation the term implies. A journalist for The Guardian, Hackman offers an overview of this approach and perception. She documents its manifestations through historical and personal examples that will feel all too real for readers. This is an inspiring, infuriating study of the toll it takes on people when they’re expected to smile, while taking on more and exhausting responsibilities without getting paid more.
VERDICT This is a call to action for individuals and the organizations that sustain these practices.
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