Title: Sounds of the salon: the auditory routines of hairdressers at work

Authors: Harriet Shortt

Addresses: Department of Business and Management, University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK

Abstract: This article broadens the landscape of sensual ways of knowing and understanding and takes account of what we hear at work. In particular, I examine what role sounds play in the everyday lives of employees and why sounds are notable in organisational research. Central to this exploration are data gathered from a study of hairdressers working in hair salons. The findings presented here demonstrate that employees use sounds to sensually and creatively 'tune out' the emotional labour encountered as part of their work. It is argued that these auditory routines are used as a way of escaping work that is different to other strategies of escape; it is less about resistance or dis-identification, and more about respite and ways of relocating the 'self' elsewhere.

Keywords: auditory environment; emotional labour; escape; hairdressers; noise at work; hairdressing salons; hair salons; senses; sounds; space; work; work routines; organisational research; respite; hearing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2013.057400

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2013 Vol.5 No.4, pp.342 - 356

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 29 Oct 2013 *

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