'After reading this book it will be more difficult to "do" the sociology of work and the sociology of the body in the absence of the other. In some quite exquisite ways it throws down a challenge which practitioners in both fields will find difficult to ignore' - Paul Stewart, former editor of Work, Employment and Society, University of the West of England Bodies at Work provides the first full-length, accessible account of the body/work relation in contemporary western societies. Bringing together fields of sociology that have hitherto developed mainly along separate lines, the book demonstrates the relevance of concepts developed in the sociology of the body for enriching our understanding of changing patterns of work and employment. Bodies at Work begins by establishing key concerns in both the sociology of the body and the sociology of work. Drawing on existing research, the author proceeds to examine a wide range of employment sectors: industrial employment; customer relations; health practice; care work; the beauty industry; and sex work. The contribution of feminist theory and research is highlighted throughout, and analyses of photographs help the reader conceptualise the changing nature of the body/work relationship over time. Bodies at Work helps readers think more clearly and creatively about how work relations shape bodily experience.
Chapter 4: Customer Services
In this chapter we move on to consider occupations and settings associated with the service sector. This is the main area where, as we saw in the last chapter, some commentators have argued for the increasing importance of discursive constructions of workers’ subjectivity, as against the focus on the body typical ...