Sociological Research on Teachers’ Emotions: Four Approaches and the Shared Themes

Kwok Kuen Tsang


During the mid-1990s, teachers’ emotions emerged as an area of research in the sociology of education because many teachers all over the world were reported to be unhappy, dissatisfied, stressed, frustrated, and even alienated. This implies that teachers’ emotions, especially negative ones, go beyond individual factors and have become a social issue. Therefore, researchers use sociological perspectives and theories to deepen our understanding of the phenomenon. In order to advance our understanding of the social construction mechanism of teachers’ emotions, this article reviews four sociological approaches of teachers’ emotions: labor process of teaching in the context of education reforms, emotion management in teaching, social interaction in school settings, and teacher identity.

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