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Overcoming Arlie Hochschild’s concepts of the 'real' and 'false' self by drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's concept of habitus

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Michelle Addison



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


This article theoretically discusses Arlie Hochschild’s (1983, 1998) concept of the ‘real’ and ‘false’ self (1983: 194) and how this holds together her model about how it is we manage our emotions. Hochschild draws on ideas about surface acting, deep acting and authenticity to support her theory of emotion management. In this discussion I argue that these ideas undermine the clarity of the theoretical model Hochschild tries to develop to explain emotion management. The first aim here is to demonstrate that this concept of the real and false self acts as an unnecessary conceptual linchpin making Hochschild’s ideas about emotion management opaque. The second aim in this article is to theoretically engage with Pierre Bourdieu’s (1984, 1990) concept of habitus as a way of overcoming Hochschild’s idea of the real and false self.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Addison M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Emotion, Space and Society

Year: 2017

Volume: 23

Pages: 9-15

Print publication date: 01/05/2017

Online publication date: 24/02/2017

Acceptance date: 04/01/2017

Date deposited: 21/02/2017

ISSN (print): 1755-4586

ISSN (electronic): 1878-0040

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.emospa.2017.01.003


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