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Feeling Labor - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Feeling Labor
It's difficult for someone with a position like mine to speak to people with traditional 8-hour days about the work I do. "You mean you only teach two classes a semester?" While that's true, it doesn't come close to capturing the labor my job requires. Take today, for example. From 9am until 4pm, I met with students in 15-minute blocks with only a few five-minute breaks here and there. Somehow, that labor was a lot more draining than working on a project would have been. It takes a great deal of energy for me to come out of myself and identify with student after student, each with a different take on the world. I felt like Star Trek: The Next Generation's Counselor Troy. Maybe some statistically minded researcher can find a way of quantifying identificatory labor. Having a ratio would certainly make it easier for me to explain what I do and how it correlates to a job in the "real world".

Mode: müd
Muse: Zionist Timing - Aereogramme - A Story in White

4 comments or Leave a comment
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 15th, 2004 01:55 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Politicking at Gentle Ben's? Interesting
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 15th, 2004 02:09 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Yes. It was a blast. The quote is far less clear than what I actually said, but you know how that is. It's a victory if you aren't quoted advocating a coup by the Shining Path.
From: (Anonymous) Date: October 15th, 2004 02:10 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

it's already been done

Feminist economists (Nancy Folbre?) have done all sorts of cool stuff on quantifying emotional labor, which identification is a type. Besides, it's a big part of the professions. We deal with people's deepest shit -- doctors, lawyers, teachers, psychologists. Plumbers deal with that other kind of shit, which is why they still make more than a lot of professors.

The job really is fucking exhausting, though. I just finished a 12-hour day of organizing documents for the tenure folder.

cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: October 15th, 2004 02:38 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: it's already been done

Yes, I've seen some of that work over the years. I was being a little facetious, suggesting that I'd like one little formula rather than the more complex descriptions I've seen.

Any idea where I should start revisiting that topic more vigorously?

4 comments or Leave a comment