Title: Positioning emotion through the body and bodywork: a reflection through nursing as craft

Authors: Veronica James

Addresses: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 1AF, UK

Abstract: Using the metaphor of an odyssey, this paper connects a personal career trajectory with body and bodywork to describe three different eras in the use and development of emotion work. Sennett|s (2008) analysis of |Craftsman| as a problem solving, problem finding community informs the sense of career. The first era of 1970s and 1980s, uses feminism and Marxism to interrogate the subjective problem of feeling |wrung out| during a participant observation study in a hospice. The second era, the 1990s, connects organisational development with emotion. The third era, from the millennium, is a re-engagement with clinical practice, when the |problem found| was to understand women|s attendance for cervical smears. Synthesis of the odyssey suggests that emotion can be viewed from a number of different positions – as subjective experience, methodology, legacy, craft, bridge and moral framework – and that each has relevance and application in different circumstances.

Keywords: emotion work; emotional labour; body; bodywork; sociology; reflective; reflexive; careers; crafts; professions; community; problem solving; cervical screening; nursing; moral framework; feelings; feminism; Marxism; hospices; work organisation; clinical practice; cervical smears.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2009.030932

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2009 Vol.3 No.2, pp.146 - 160

Published online: 13 Jan 2010 *

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