Love, care, and solidarity: understanding the emotional and affective labour of school leadership

Amanda Heffernan, Martin Mills

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Abstract

This paper explores the emotional work involved in leading schools in marginalised communities, through case studies of Australian and English government-school principals theorised through Lynch’s framework of affective justice and the embedded concepts of love, care and solidarity. Participants demonstrated solidarity in their choice of working in these particular schools, which brings with them a higher level of emotional complexity. Their work towards social justice manifests through their care relationships when interacting with students, staff and communities. These interactions, full of emotion, impact the third affective relation – love. Findings show the impact of participants’ solidarity and care work on their own personal relationships. In exploring the affective domain of school leaders’ work, we seek to articulate how principals can be empowered to continue to undertake their solidarity and care work while mitigating impacts on the relationships that are vital for their own wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • affective justice
  • affect
  • educational leadership
  • social justice

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