“They Need to Learn to Take It on the Chin”: Exploring the Emotional Labour of Student Volunteers in a Sports-Based Outreach Project in the North East of England

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Abstract

This research explores the emotional labour of university students whilst volunteering on the Sport Universities North East England (SUNEE) sports-based outreach project. Using data from semi-structured interviews with students (n = 40) this paper draws on the work of Arlie Hochschild (1983, 2012) to explore the feeling, display and regulation of emotion by this cohort of volunteers throughout their involvement on the SUNEE project. The findings suggest that students’ emotional labour is influenced by a variety of challenging attitudes and situations that they encounter when attempting to coach “hard to reach” groups. To perform such emotional labour, students often chose to transmute emotion, separating their actual emotions from their outward display to convey a demeanour necessitated by the perceived feeling rules of the coaching context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136–147
Number of pages12
JournalSociology of Sport Journal
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

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