Towards a Facebookization of civil society? Exploring the institutionalization of positive emotional vocabulary

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


Emotional vocabulary and symbols on social media abound, not only in private communication, but also in organizations and workplace organizing. In this paper, we argue that emotional labor driven by technical developments is an important but hitherto rather overlooked dark side of digitalization. We thereby take a critical perspective on the techno-utopian literature of social media organizing, by developing the concept of digital emotional labor. Focusing on civil society organizations, we approach the study of digital emotional labor on social media in two ways. Quantitatively, we explore the display of emotions on social media on an organizational level by the means of sentiment analysis. Qualitatively, we use focus group interviews to explore how individuals experience digital emotional labor. Based on this mixed-methods analysis, our find-ings point to an inflation in the usage of positive emotional vocabulary, creating an organizational emotional dissonance in contemporary civil society organizations. Stemming from the commer-cial impetus of social media platforms, it is proposed that digital emotional labor entail isomor-phic pressures on an organizational field level, rather than limiting emotional labor to specific service offerings.


External organisations
  • Södertörn University
  • Uppsala University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Communication Studies
  • Business Administration


  • social media, facebook, emotional labor, sentiment analysis
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019 Jul 5
Publication categoryResearch
EventEGOS 2019 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 2019 Jul 32019 Jul 6


ConferenceEGOS 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom

Related research output

Nils Gustafsson & Weinryb, N., 2019 Feb 22, In : Organization. 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Weinryb, N. & Nils Gustafsson, 2018 Dec 14, Tidskriften Kurage, 30, p. 40 43 p.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publication or newspaperSpecialist publication article

Nils Gustafsson, Weinryb, N. & Gullberg, C., 2018 Jul 5, (Unpublished). 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding

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