This article examines the role of emotions in educational work with asylum-seeking and refugee children by studying a specific case of teaching in culturally diverse classrooms. Using empirical data from various classroom contexts in Denmark based on teacher interviews and participant observations, the role of emotions is examined through a relational approach informed by, among others, Sara Ahmed. The analysis firstly developed three types of situated emotion management performed by actors for a wide range of reasons, feeling rules and organisational regulations. Secondly, I undertook a theoretical interpretation of the analysis involving a study of emotions asking, ‘what do emotions do’ and ‘how do emotions operate’ to make and shape bodies of othering. The findings suggest that a relational approach to emotion allows for a better understanding of how emotions work with effect in educational work with asylum-seeking and refugee children and, accordingly, how teachers can benefit from including this approach in understanding and finding solutions to the important role emotions play in asylum-seeking and refugee education.

DOI: 10.1080/14675986.2022.2146403
ISSN: 14675986