Using the example of work in a McDonald’s restaurant, explain what Hochschild means with the phrase “transmutation of an emotional system.”

In his article, “The managed heart,” Hochschild addresses the concept of emotional labor that plays a highly significant role in modern society. In companies that offer service to their customers and are ranked according to their quality, “the emotional style of offering the service is part of the service itself.” With their smiles, polite tone, and sympathy, employees aim to create an atmosphere of hospitality, care, and safety.

At the same time, Hochschild introduces the transmutation of an emotional system, a phenomenon that has its own peculiarities in terms of emotional labor. In general, emotional labor requires a worker “to induce or suppress feeling in order to sustain the outward countenance that produces the proper state of mind in others.” As a result, a prevalent number of people occupied in the sphere of service admit that they regard, for instance, their smiles as nothing more than a part of their uniform.

At the same time, the transmutation of an emotional system implies not only the commercial expression of feelings but actual feelings regularized by a company. In other words, private and frequently unconscious feelings “nowadays often fall under the sway of large organizations, social engineering, and the profit motive.” The significance of this transmutation may be observed through the example of McDonald’s, where the obligatory hospitality of employees is a part of the company’s phenomenal success.

Despite the fact there are the Six Steps of Window Service and crew people are reprimanded for the absence of a smile, the company requires genuine feelings and attitudes from workers. For instance, they are required to be themselves along with being polite and cheerful in order not to look like robotswith social smiles and without sincere sympathy.

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Academic.Tips. 2022. "Using the example of work in a McDonald’s restaurant, explain what Hochschild means with the phrase “transmutation of an emotional system.”." September 7, 2022. https://academic.tips/question/using-the-example-of-work-in-a-mcdonalds-restaurant-explain-what-hochschild-means-with-the-phrase-transmutation-of-an-emotional-system/.

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