chapter  7
12 Pages

The politics of emotions: affective economies, ambivalence, and transformation


Within education, there have been calls for ‘rethinking educational change with heart and mind’ (Hargreaves 1997), for ‘passionate leadership’ (Davies and Brighouse 2008), and for ‘balancing logic and artistry in leadership’ (Deal and Peterson 1994). Moreover, empirical work has indicated that emotions are powerful forces in school leaders’ lives warranting attention (Beatty 2000; 2002; 2005; Beatty and Brew 2004; Blackmore 1996; 2004; Revell 1996; Sachs and Blackmore 1998). The emotionality of school leadership is an area that has not been explored in depth to date (Beatty 2005). However, there is much evidence in the research literature that the affective world of school leaders is both complex and intense. School leaders are confronted on a daily basis with a variety of emotions – such as anger, bewilderment, anxiety, caring, and excitement – that are inextricably linked to personal, professional, relational, political, and cultural issues.