College of Communication Master of Arts Theses

Date of Award

Winter 3-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Alexandra Murphy


Using Tracy and Trethewey‟s (2005) crystallized self metaphor as a framework through which to view organizational identity, the researcher bridges connections between emotional labor, job performance, meaning of work and communicative sensemaking within the organizational context of a grocery store. The purpose of this study is to seek the potential strategies that employees of this specific grocery store chain use to make communicative sense of their everyday realities in order to "get through" the day, especially with the great deal of emotional labor that takes place on the job. The researcher utilizes a combination of face-to-face interviews and participant observation to collect data for this study. Findings indicate that employees utilized multiple strategies to manage their emotionally laborious positions including venting, forming social relationships and pursuing interests outside of work, as well as resistance. Limitations of this project and directions for future research are discussed.

Included in

Communication Commons