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Understanding the use of social networking sites by professional employees in the UK.

Iseko, Acheinu (2019) Understanding the use of social networking sites by professional employees in the UK. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Abstract

This research explores the extent to which employees in the UK manage their emotions on SNSs as they try to ensure their activities conform to their employers’ expectations in a competitive and unsecure labour market. This topic was explored by interviewing forty employees aged over twenty-five from a range of professions and who use at least one of the social networking platforms. The participants’ personal experiences of some of the new features of the UK labour market, such as labour market insecurities, as well as their distinctive domestication of SNSs, form a backdrop for the exploration of whether they tailor and suppress their performances and emotions on SNSs. As a result, this study explored the extent to which the interviewees perform emotional labour on SNSs as they manage their emotions to meet their employers’ expectations. Previous studies on the use of the various forms of social networking sites have focused primarily on children, teenagers and young adults, usually between the ages of thirteen and twenty-five. These studies explored how young adults use these SN platforms to strengthen their social capital and manage online impressions, as well as their perception of online privacy and surveillance. While these issues may be relevant to older adults’ use of social networking sites, it was proposed that using these SN platforms and, at the same time, ensuring employers’ expectations are met in an unsecure and competitive labour market, might add further complexities to their experiences. Drawing on the literature on the current state of the labour market, social practices on networking sites and emotional labour with respect to conforming to employers’ expectations, this present study used the theories of Goffman on dramaturgy, Hochschild and Bolton on emotion management, Standing on the precarious society, boyd on collapse contexts and networked publics, and Silverstone and Hirsch on domestication to frame the research questions, design and analysis. Findings revealed that within this group of employees, SN platforms have not only become a vital tool to interpret and adapt to certain new features of the UK labour market, such as the increase in labour market insecurities, but have also become a site where emotional labour is performed to an extent. Surprisingly, there were many similarities in the way these participants use and incorporate these platforms, irrespective of certain demographics such as their type of profession, gender and age that were initially assumed to lead to major differences. It was observed that the majority of the interviewees experience various emotions and feel obliged to tailor, suppress and manage these emotions in the workplace and on SNSs to meet their employers’, and in some cases their colleagues and clients’ expectations. This study advocates the notion that since the continuous use of social networking sites involve suppressing, tailoring and negotiating various emotions, they should be considered a site for emotional labour. In conclusion, as the labour market appears to be undergoing significant changes, it may be that other locations besides the workplace and social networking sites, where emotional management is required, may exist. As such, this study provides a foundation potentially useful to explore other complex settings where employees might perform some form of emotion management.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Iseko, Acheinu
Date : 28 February 2019
Funders : self-funded
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00850414
Copyright Disclaimer : This thesis and the work to which it refers are the results of my own efforts. Any ideas, data, images or text resulting from the work of others (whether published or unpublished) are fully identified as such within the work and attributed to their originator in the text, bibliography or in the footnotes. This thesis has not been submitted in whole or in part for any other academic degree or professional qualification. I agree that the University has the right to submit my work to the plagiarism detection service TurnitinUK for originality checks. Whether or not drafts have been so assessed, the University reserves the right to require an electronic version of the final document (as submitted) for assessment as above.
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSHine, ChristineC.Hine@surrey.ac.uk
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSKing, Andrewandrew.king@surrey.ac.uk
Depositing User : Acheinu Iseko
Date Deposited : 07 Mar 2019 13:05
Last Modified : 07 Mar 2019 13:06
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/850414

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