Title: Developing aesthetic labour: the importance of consumption

Authors: Lynne Pettinger

Addresses: Department of Sociology, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ, UK

Abstract: This paper addresses the neglect of consumption in studies of aesthetic labour by theorising the gendered material cultures of work and consumption. Firstly, it argues that aesthetic labourers influence the consumption of others by working on the desirability of commodities, what Callon refers to as the |qualification| of economic value. The paper argues this relies on gendered practices of consumption and work, and that it differs between fields of consumer-facing work. Secondly, it discusses how aesthetic labour relies on the consumption practices of workers, with engagement with consumer culture essential to the successful enactment of work roles.

Keywords: aesthetic labour; embodied work; gender; consumption; consumer culture; service work; material culture; commodification; qualification; markets; work roles.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2008.022495

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2008 Vol.2 No.4, pp.327 - 343

Published online: 10 Jan 2009 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article