Feeling Resistance: Emotions and Gender in Retail Organizing


  • Kendra Coulter


This article examines retail organizing with a focus on the role of emotions. The data enlisted were collected through participant observation in organizing projects and interviews with retail workers who organized or sought to unionize their workplaces. Three main intersections of emotions and retail organizing are identified and outlined: the galvanizing, mobilizing, and polarizing dimensions. The article argues that emotions are intimately interwoven with organizing in retail, and in some instances are the primary determinants of the outcome. It concludes with a discussion of the implications that stem from a deeper understanding of the significance and gendered politics of emotions in retail organizing.