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Working Bodies: Interactive Service Employment and Workplace Identities

ISBN: 978-1-4051-5977-7
288 pages
October 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Working Bodies: Interactive Service Employment and Workplace Identities (1405159774) cover image
Through a series of case studies of low-status interactive and embodied servicing work, Working Bodies examines the theoretical and empirical nature of the shift to embodied work in service-dominated economies.
  • Defines ‘body work’ to include the work by service sector employees on their own bodies and on the bodies of others
  • Sets UK case studies in the context of global patterns of economic change
  • Explores the consequences of growing polarization in the service sector
  • Draws on geography, sociology, anthropology, labour market studies, and feminist scholarship
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List of Illustrations.

Series Editors' Preface.

Preface and Acknowledgements.

1 Service Employment and the Commoditization of the Body.

Part I Locating Service Work.

2 The Rise of the Service Economy.

3 Thinking Through Embodiment: Explaining Interactive Service Employment.

Part II High-Touch Servicing Work in Private and Public Spaces.

4 Up Close and Personal: Intimate Work in the Home.

5 Selling Bodies I: Sex Work.

6 Selling Bodies II: Masculine Strength and Licensed Violence.

Part III High-Touch Servicing Work in Specialist Spaces.

7 Bodies in Sickness and in Health: Care Work and Beauty Work.

8 Warm Bodies: Doing Deference in Routine Interactive Work.

9 Conclusions: Bodies in Place.

References.

Index.

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Linda McDowell is Professor of Human Geography and Director of the Graduate School of Geography at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St. John's College, where she is also Director of the Research Centre. Widely published, McDowell's books include Capital Culture: Gender at Work in the City (1997), Redundant Masculinities? Employment Change and White Working Class Youth (2003) and Hard Labour (2005).
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  • Defines ‘body work’ to include the work by service sector employees on their own bodies and on the bodies of others
  • Sets UK and US case studies in the context of global patterns of economic change
  • Explores the consequences of growing polarization in the service sector
  • Discusses the methodological issues raised in case study and qualitative research
  • Draws on geography, sociology, anthropology, labour market studies, and feminist scholarship
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"Nevertheless, the book is accessibly written, and the variety of themes it explores will ensure it has broad appeal among undergraduates and postgraduates studying social division, gender, service work, labour relations and their relationships. The book also provides academics working in and across the disciplines of sociology and human geography with a good overview of research into interactive work and its implications in contemporary society." (Work, Employment & Society, 25 March 2011)

 

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