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'Professionalism' as an emotional regime in a bureaucratic service context. Emotion management in case handling of debt relief

Conference contribution
Authors Bengt Larsson
Published in Nordic Working Life Conference 2014
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Centre for European Research (CERGU)
Language en
Keywords bureaucracy, debt relief, emotional regimes, emotional labour, emotional work, emotion management, feeling rules, justifications, New Public Management, professionalism
Subject categories Sociology


This paper explores the emotional regime of case-handling of debt relief at the Swedish Enforcement Authority (SEA). The study analyses how emotion management and emotional display are justified by ‘being professional’ in interviews with SEA staff, revealing that this bureaucratic emotional regime is multidimensional and encompasses four different logics, which are connected to four central relational contexts of case-handling. The staff justify and perform a style of ‘affective neutrality’ in the context of law, ‘loyal productivity’ in relation to NPM policies, ‘empathetic respectfulness’ in relation to debtors, and an ‘authoritative and business-like’ style in relation to creditors.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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