This chapter focuses on passion and love in youth work, as expressed by youth workers who took part in the qualitative study underpinning this book. Emotional engagement might be seen as intrinsic to youth work and necessary for building relationships with young people; alternatively, it could be seen as a form of self-exploitation at a time when youth work is increasingly governed by market principles and cost-cutting. The chapter explores the relevance to youth work of emotional labour (Hochschild, 2003), the theory that workers' emotional efforts are controlled and exploited by employers in pursuit of profit. It also explores theories of emotion management (Bolton, 2005) that acknowledge the complexity and ambiguity of workplace feelings. These theories have a renewed relevance for youth work as private sector organisations and practices become normalised. The chapter goes on to discuss the role of passion and love in resisting the commodification of youth work.
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