January 12, 2021

How Much Emotional Labour Must We Endure To Make A Living?

Sophie Stewart

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Vinyl On Coated AluminiumHow much emotional labour must we endure to make a living?, 2020

From kitchen porter, to waitress, to bar tender; like many others, I have experienced the effects of precarity when working under zero-hour contracts, for minimum wage, whilst facing overbearing micromanagement and difficult customers.

These pieces were created in response to gathering real experiences from a range of different people working within the hospitality industry and are intended to show hidden aspects of precarious work that are all too often normalised and overlooked. T

his work aims to eradicate feelings of alienation, by ‘re-humanising’ the worker – giving a voice to the silent majority, sharing their stories and experiences, and expressing the toll of emotional labour on an individual’s self-worth.

I think it is important to create awareness of alienation instigated by precarity, because it reduces feelings of isolation amongst individuals who feel tied to their working circumstances.

We are too often expected to suppress our true emotions within a work place setting to ensure that everyone else’s needs are met, but when does this suppression start to effect the individual in the long term, and at what cost?