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Fracturing the Real-Self<-->Fake-Self Dichotomy: Moving Toward “Crystallized” Organizational Discourses and Identities
Unformatted Document Text:  Real-SelfÅÆFake-Self Dichotomy 8 Thus, as illustrated, emotion labor norms and employee talk, in situ, play a role in maintaining a dichotomy between the “real” and “fake” self. We would also argue that the theoretical roots of emotion labor suggest a real self-fake self dichotomy. Arlie Hochschild is generally considered to be the founder of emotion labor research and is credited with conceiving of the emotion labor vocabulary that saturates twenty years of ensuing studies. Her ground-breaking study (1983) of employees “managing their heart” focused on the ways employees serve as emotional actors within organizations and how inner feelings are commodified and instrumentalized for organizational profit. Hochschild (1983) theorizes that emotion labor requires employees’ emotion to be “transmuted” and thus “processed, standardized” (p. 153). While Hochschild (1983) submits that, “in managing emotion, we contribute to the creation of it” (p. 18), the foundations of emotion labor theory perpetuate the idea that emotion is something individual and real that is then made fake either through “surface acting” or “deep acting”—processes considered to be ultimately separate from a real self. Hochschild (1990) contends that she views emotion “interactionally”—a position she claims is in between the biological and socially constructed perspectives. Nevertheless, her arguments and vocabulary rest upon a dichotomy between a true or “real” self and a “false” self as well as between a “private” and “public” self. She tends to use these two distinctions interchangeably (Wouters, 1989), which leads to questions about these distinctions themselves (Tracy, 2000). In other words, real emotion has oftentimes been presumed to have a better and truer existence before it falls under the sway of organization norms, leading people to underestimate the extent to which communication and organizational norms construct “real” identity. Waldron (1994) sums up this shortcoming, saying: …the dichotomous portrayal of emotion as real or expressed, private or public, genuine or fabricated, lends itself to oversimplification of the role of communication processes in the emotional lives of organization members (p. 399).

Authors: Tracy, Sarah. and Trethewey, Angela.
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Real-SelfÅÆFake-Self Dichotomy
8
Thus, as illustrated, emotion labor norms and employee talk, in situ, play a role in maintaining a
dichotomy between the “real” and “fake” self.
We would also argue that the theoretical roots of emotion labor suggest a real self-fake
self dichotomy. Arlie Hochschild is generally considered to be the founder of emotion labor
research and is credited with conceiving of the emotion labor vocabulary that saturates twenty
years of ensuing studies. Her ground-breaking study (1983) of employees “managing their heart”
focused on the ways employees serve as emotional actors within organizations and how inner
feelings are commodified and instrumentalized for organizational profit. Hochschild (1983)
theorizes that emotion labor requires employees’ emotion to be “transmuted” and thus “processed,
standardized” (p. 153). While Hochschild (1983) submits that, “in managing emotion, we
contribute to the creation of it” (p. 18), the foundations of emotion labor theory perpetuate the
idea that emotion is something individual and real that is then made fake either through “surface
acting” or “deep acting”—processes considered to be ultimately separate from a real self.
Hochschild (1990) contends that she views emotion “interactionally”—a position she claims is in
between the biological and socially constructed perspectives. Nevertheless, her arguments and
vocabulary rest upon a dichotomy between a true or “real” self and a “false” self as well as
between a “private” and “public” self. She tends to use these two distinctions interchangeably
(Wouters, 1989), which leads to questions about these distinctions themselves (Tracy, 2000).
In other words, real emotion has oftentimes been presumed to have a better and truer
existence before it falls under the sway of organization norms, leading people to underestimate the
extent to which communication and organizational norms construct “real” identity. Waldron
(1994) sums up this shortcoming, saying:
…the dichotomous portrayal of emotion as real or expressed, private or public, genuine or
fabricated, lends itself to oversimplification of the role of communication processes in the
emotional lives of organization members (p. 399).


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