Emancipation Through Emotion Regulation at Work

Dirk Lindebaum discusses the motivation behind his new book.

Tell us something about the book, what is it about?Book Cover Emancipation Through Emotion Regulation at Work
It’s about showing how emotions can be used to repress individuals at work and beyond. I was particularly keen to enable readers to ‘see through’ how this is done. The main point is that workers can then regulate their emotions differently to emancipate themselves from that repression.

What was your motivation to write the book?
There are two reasons why I wrote this book. First, from a theoretical perspective, I have a long-lasting interest in the conditions that require the liberation of workers from repressive social norms and practices that function because of emotion. And second, it was motivated by an experience of power abuse by a cabin crew to intimidate passengers and to silence complaints. It was a truly dreadful experience, one which I share with readers in the Appendix of the book.

How do you suggest readers approach the book?
Approach it with an open mind and appreciate the intentions behind the book as well as the ideological position it represents. Readers subscribing to the view that we have the capacity to act with agency to improve our lives will find ample food for thought in the book.

What do you hope that the reader will take away from the book?
I hope that readers will perceive this book as the intervention it was deigned to be; to actually make a difference to the their professional and private lives. I wanted to show how the repression can be ‘seen through’, and that readers understand how they can use emotion regulation to emancipated themselves from that repression. To invite that reflection, the last page of the book is a blank page, designed to allow the readers’ imagination to ignite that intervention. In a way, readers can thus decide whether they want to continue writing the book (for) themselves. If the book makes a difference to only one person, it will have been worth my while writing it.

What do you plan to work on next?
Good question. There are too many ideas buzzing in my head, so I need to appreciate that I only have one life. But there are some projects that I look particularly forward to complete or initiate at some point in the near future. For one thing, I hope to finish a project on the role of violence and passions as drivers for excellence in bureaucratic settings. For another, I want to write another book on the broader theme of ‘freedom and work in the 21st century’.

Emancipation Through Emotion Regulation at Work by Dirk Lindebaum, Cardiff University, UK

Dirk Lindebaum discusses the issues raised in the book in more detail here

Watch his video here


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