Please check out the following recent publication from OOW members Aliya Hamid Rao and Megan Tobias Neely: “What’s Love Got to Do with It? Passion and Inequality in White-Collar Work.” Sociology Compass. Online First.
Emotion has become an increasingly important aspect of work in the 21st century. In this article, we take stock of the extant literature delineating the role of emotions, especially passion as a cultural schema, in white‐collar workplaces. Scholars have covered extensive ground on emotions at work, but the role of passion remains an underexplored yet significant area. Drawing from recent developments in research on white‐collar work, we argue that the passion schema has become a critical marker in the labor market for sorting individuals into occupations, hiring and promotion within organizations, and assigning value to people’s labor. Emergent research suggests that because the expression and perception of passion remain ambiguously defined in the workplace and varies by context, it is pivotal in reproducing social inequalities. In this review, we focus on how privileging passion in the workplace and interpreting it as a measure of aptitude impacts social inequalities by race, gender, and social class. We close by setting an agenda for further research on this topic.