Bridging the contradictions of social constructionism and psychoanalysis in a study of workplace emotions in India

Eda Ulus*, Yiannis Gabriel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper makes a contribution to the study of emotions in organizations by
offering a systematic juxtaposition and cross-fertilization of psychoanalytic and
social constructionist approaches. These two traditions have found it hard to
communicate in the past when addressing organizational emotions. Points of
similarity and tension between them are discussed in connection with two critical
case studies of female Indian managers discussing their emotions at the
workplace. These were obtained during field work in which emotions were
studied through narratives generated by a free-association interview approach.
Both the emotions described in the narratives themselves and the emotions of the
interview encounter were analysed, as resources for a rapprochement of
contrasting perspectives on emotion. This rapprochement acknowledges the
psychoanalytic emphasis on unconscious dynamics shaping the emotional lives
of individuals and groups, while also honouring the social constructionist
emphasis on how emotions are influenced by social, cultural and discursive
practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221–243
JournalCulture and Organization
Volume24
Issue number3
Early online date28 Jan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2018
Externally publishedYes

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