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Publications [#359622] of Lynn Smith-Lovin

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Articles and Chapters

  1. Maloney, E; Smith-Lovin, L "The emotional implications of occupational deference structures."  January, 2021: 1-21. [doi]
    (last updated on 2022/07/04)

    Purpose: We examine how one’s occupational class affects emotional experience. To do this, we look at both general affective outcomes (job satisfaction, respect at work, and life happiness) and the experience of specific positive emotions (overjoyed, proud, and excited) during the week. Methodology/Approach: Using affect control theory simulations, we find the characteristic emotions of four occupational classes, derived from Maloney’s (2020) block model analysis: everyday specialists, service-to-society occupations, the disagreeably powerful, and the actively revered. Using these characteristic emotions, we make predictions about how likely it is that individuals in these occupational classes will report workplace affective experiences: job satisfaction and respect at work, and broader affective experience: general happiness in the prior year. Lastly, we generate and test predictions about everyday emotional experience of positive emotions. Findings: We find mixed results for our hypotheses. In general, our predictions regarding the actively revered as the highest status block in Maloney (2020) are supported for general happiness, job satisfaction, and daily emotional experience. However, we find higher probabilities of happiness and job satisfaction for the disagreeably powerful, a lower evaluation but higher power block, than were expected. Research Limitations: The current analysis uses only 268 occupations out of the 650 occupational titles in the US Census three-digit occupational codes. An analysis that includes the entire occupational structure would be more definitive. Additionally, it would be preferable to have emotion-dependent variables that were specifically tied to work, rather than broader emotional experience, to have a cleaner test of our hypotheses about occupational identities. Practical and Social Implications: Prior research has shown how the emotional experiences associated with different identity labels can explain mental health outcomes, workplace anger, and broader patterns of inequality (Foy, Freeland, Miles, Rogers, & Smith-Lovin, 2014; Kroska & Harkness, 2008, 2016; Lively & Powell, 2016). Understanding how occupational class elicits certain types of emotions in everyday interactions may help scholars explain differences in health and overall life satisfaction across occupations that are not explained by material resource differentiation.

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