Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Emotional fools and dangerous robots : postcolonial engagements with emotion management
Author: Patni, Rachana
ISNI:       0000 0001 2452 2856
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines the context and practices of emotion management for National workers in International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) through a study of national workers recruited into disaster intervention in India. The research draws on postcolonial theory and problematizes current work exploring the implications of race and intersectionality within emotion management. The data collection strategy involved a narrative-based semi-structured interview process with a view to surfacing social and discursive constructions. The interpretation comprised of three levels of reading that included explication, explanation and exploration based reading using postcolonial and poststructural-feminist theories. Results highlight the dominance of neoliberal practices in INGOs and explain how these practices foreground various colonial continuities in the ways in which INGOs respond to disasters. Neoliberal practices inform and impact on the emotion management of National workers as they create a masculine and instrumental emotion regime where emotions and compassion are seen as dispensable. The colonial continuities on which neoliberalism draws, have an impact on the relationships between National and Expatriate workers. These relationships become ‘emotional encounters’ based on asymmetries that disadvantage the former. This understanding paves the way for proposing changes in contemporary disaster management practices. In this context the emotion management of National workers is a complex performance. These complex performances are linked to the postcolonial concepts of mimicry, sly-civility and hybridity and to the operation of power through desires and subjectivity. Through this context based interpretation, emotion management and theorising can be extended in useful ways. In particular, I go beyond the normative nature of much current theorising. In doing so I am able to consider emotion management as an ‘embodied emotional performance’ that places additional stress on stigmatised identities. This formulation helps break down the binaries that inform our current conceptualisation of emotion management such as emotion work and emotional labour; surface and deep acting; real and fake emotions; felt and expressed emotions. It also blurs the distinction between emotional labour and aesthetic labour. Further, it helps identify different forms of resistance to neoliberal dictates about the role of emotions in organizations. This allows for the recognition that embodied emotional performances enable conformity as well as creative resistance against emotion norms in organizations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Emotion management ; Disaster ; Humanitarian ; Post-colonial ; Professionalization