Lady Must Be Ladylike: Gender, Emotional Labor, and Performance Among Local Revenue Collectors in Thailand

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Pawinee Chuayprakong


Either women or men are expected to play certain roles according to their genders. Since most local revenue collectors are women, they should appear kind and polite and avoid altercations while being able to collect every tax bill issued by their local governments. Often, doing so demands high level of emotional labor—emotive management to show the desirable gestures despite their genuine feelings. Thus, due to gender roles, female local revenue collectors have to perform emotional labor more than their male counterparts to fulfill their job responsibilities of revenue collection. To explore this possible association, this study asks: How emotional labor performed by female revenue collectors are associated with revenue collection performance? Qualitatively, under the context of Thailand’s local governments, this exploratory study of process tracing conducts in-depth interview with fifteen local revenue collectors. The results show that these local revenue collectors perform high levels of emotional labor for both surface acting and deep acting because of the gender roles and the organization’s emotive display rules. However, with high levels of emotional labor as well as other factors such as work experience, local knowledge, team support, and suggestions from online network of local revenue collectors, these female public employees can build good relations with local residents and show that their local governments deliberately follow good governance principles (being transparent, fair, and democratic). Good relations with the local publics and local governments’ good governance can eventually boost tax compliance among local residents which eventually make local revenue collectors successfully increase local revenues.

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Chuayprakong, P. (2022). Lady Must Be Ladylike: Gender, Emotional Labor, and Performance Among Local Revenue Collectors in Thailand. Political Science and Public Administration Journal, 13(1), 1–34. Retrieved from
Research Article


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