Barakos, Elisabeth (2021):
"Language Work and Affect in Adult Language Education." Journal of Sociolinguistics 26.1: 26-44.
Journal Article

This article considers the connection of language work and affect in the exemplary site of a private language education company as part of a larger discourse‐ethnography in Vienna, Austria. Using the lens of affect, I analyse the experience, management, and performance of affect as part of language trainers’ language work. I theorise on the connection of affect, ideology, and emotional labour to make sense of the tensions that language workers face over their neoliberal selfhood and their precarious and elite forms of employment. These findings show the pervasive role of affect in organizing language work, its costs and effects, and the ways in which affect is tied to ‘feeling rules’ through which language workers (have to) perform emotional labour by managing their own and others’ feelings and performances. The article expands current sociolinguistic engagements with affect as mediated modes of meaning‐making in the production networks of the new economy.