Heuristic potential of emotional labor concepts, trust and public space in the study of solo-living


This article attempts to identify the heuristic potential of the concepts of A. Hochschild, D. Gambetta, and R. Sennett in the study of the “solo-living” phenomenon. Considering the concepts of emotional work, public and personal spaces, as well as trust, the author considers the possibility of applying the concepts in the study of non-family forms of partnership. In the analysis of concepts it is determined that they could potentially explain the occurrence and development of such forms as “solo-living”. Through the prism of the sociology of emotions by A. Hochschild, the author of the article examines the unwillingness or inability to perform emotional work as one of the factors about the increasing number of individuals living alone. At the same time, R. Sennett’s concept shows how “solo-living” arises in response to the absorption of personal space by the public, and one of the premises of “solo-living”, according to the concept of trust of D. Gambetta, is weak family ties. The author comes to a conclusion that the concepts have heuristic potential for the study of these phenomena but do not claim to be exhaustive. The limitations of the study are indicated: for example, the concept of emotional labor concerns mainly women, while ignoring the study of the difficulties that men may encounter in the context of a given problem, which also seems necessary from the author’s point of view; R. Sennett focuses on urban space. In its turn globalization erases the boundaries between cities and countries, thereby making the space global, which acquires special significance in the context of studying, for example, such a form of partnership as distance relations – which can also be considered in the context of the phenomenon of “solo-living” study. The author also discusses the prospects for further research of “solo-living” within the framework of the concepts of A. Hochschild, D. Gambetta and R. Sennett and also raises the research question about the possibility of synthesizing the presented concepts as an explanatory model for the development of various forms of partnership.

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