Title: Affective landscapes in academia: emotional labour, vulnerability, and uncertainty in late-modern academic work

Authors: Herta Nöbauer

Addresses: Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, Universitätsstrasse 7, A-1010 Wien/Vienna, Austria

Abstract: This article explores affects in academia in Austria. It draws on an ethnographic study on the political economy of the body in academia that I conducted at the University of Vienna during the early 2000s. In particular, I will analyse the affective landscape of late-modern global academia by focusing on those university lecturers who are facing economic uncertainty, institutional marginalisation, and social vulnerability. Starting from their 'lived experiences' I will elaborate on their work on and with affects. It is argued that emotional labour and emotional capital provide important resources to these marginalised teachers in coping with uncertainty and vulnerability. Their specific emotional investment, so I will demonstrate, is related to the extent of their vocational (in)security and to their different socio-cultural and biographical experiences.

Keywords: academia; late-modern uncertainty; affects; affective landscape; emotional labour; emotional capital; Austria; economic uncertainty; institutional marginalisation; social vulnerability; ethnography; political economy; higher education; universities; university lecturers; vocational security.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2012.049517

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2012 Vol.5 No.2, pp.132 - 144

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 05 Oct 2012 *

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