Study on about Emotional Labor Experience of Social Workers through Thematic Analysis : Focusing on Social Workers in P City Case

주제분석을 통한 사회복지 종사자의 감정노동 경험 연구: P시 사례를 중심으로

Suh, Borahm

  • Received : 2019.01.07
  • Accepted : 2019.02.19
  • Published : 2019.03.28


This study analyzes the emotional labor experiences of 8 social workers in social welfare facilities and public institutions by thematic analysis method with interveiws with them. Six categories and Twenty two themes concerning the emotional labor experience were derived from the analysis. Six categories are as follows: 'work life as a target for anger', 'unsafe workplace', 'emotional labor that ruins life', 'overcoming hurt emotion', and 'living with emotional labor'. Social workers are constantly required to perform emotional labor providing services to clients in the field of practice, and they also suffer verbal abuse from clients. Social workers feel the pressure of work in the environment that does not tolerate mistakes and they must keep their safety on their own. In these cases, emotional labor has effects on the physical and mental health of workers. The problem of emotional labor is difficult to solve and there might not be no choice but to endure. This study suggests practical and policy measures for social workers based on the results of the analysis. Policy suggestions are as follows: safety assurance for social workers, establishment of base facilities for employee support, human rights education for employees, preparation of super vision system, and the provision of a mental health care system.


Social Workers;Emotional Labor;Case Study;Thematic Analysis;Face-to-face Service