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When it pays to be friendly: employment relationships and emotional labour in hairstyling

Cohen, R. L. (2010). When it pays to be friendly: employment relationships and emotional labour in hairstyling. The Sociological Review, 58(2), pp. 197-218. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-954X.2010.01900.x

Abstract

This article examines worker-client relationships in hairstyling. Data are drawn from interviews with 15 hourly-paid and 32 self-employed hairstylists and a self-administered survey. Relations of employment are found to be central to the deployment of emotional labour. Self-employed owner-operators are highly dependent on clients, rely on deep-acting, enact favours, and are prone to emotional breaking points when they fail to realise their ‘congealed service’. In contrast, hourly-paid stylists perform surface acting, resist unpaid favours and experience fewer breaking points. Methodologically this article demonstrates the importance of comparative employment relations analysis (CERA) for exposing the relationship between employment structures and labour process experiences.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Social Sciences, Sociology, MANAGED-HEART, SERVICE WORK, HAIRDRESSERS, SALON, POWER
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/2534
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