The intimate dance of networking: A Comparative Study of the Emotional Labor of Young American and Danish Jobseekers

Sabina Pultz, Ofer Sharone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Drawing on in-depth interviews and observations in Denmark and the United States, this chapter compares discourses and experiences of young unemployed professionals engaged in networking. Common across both sites is the kind of emotional labor perceived to be required for effective networking, with workers frequently drawing on romantic dating as a key metaphor. However, engagement in such emotional labor is more intense and pervasive for American jobseekers, while Danish jobseekers express greater concern about potential exploitation of the other party, corruption, and pressure to conform to norms of marketability. The chapter discusses possible links among networking experiences, hiring practices and political-economic contexts in the United States and Denmark.
Translated title of the contributionNetworking som intim dans: et komparativt studie af følelsesarbejde blandt unge amerikanske og danske jobsøgere
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProfessional Work : Knowledge, Power and Social Inequalities
EditorsElizabeth H. Gorman, Steven P. Valas
Number of pages25
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)978-1-80043-211-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-80043-210-9
Publication statusPublished - 2020
SeriesResearch on the sociology of work


  • Unemployment
  • Job searching
  • Networking
  • Emotional labor
  • Cross-national comparison
  • De-commodification

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