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1 SO4025 Lecture 8: The Belaboured Body 13 November, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "1 SO4025 Lecture 8: The Belaboured Body 13 November, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 SO4025 Lecture 8: The Belaboured Body 13 November, 2007

2 2 Lecture Outline The costs of demanding labour Coping with the costs –Linguistic strategies –Emotion management The role of humour in demanding labour The relevance of class, gender and ethnicity

3 3 The Context Identity in high modernity –Production Consumption –Goods are relevant to identity primarily because of their sign value Ambiguity for workers in demanding jobs –Many involve the consumption of the workers body (or some of its parts) –Body is producer and object consumed

4 4 The Costs of Prostitution Conceptualised as an extension of other jobs that commodify womens sexuality –Phenomena commonplace in much female employment (Adkins 1995) –Debate re: prostitution as oppression (Jeffreys 1997) vs. legitimate work (Boynton 2002; Brewis and Linstead 2000; Chapkis 1997) But very different due to violence and other aspects of marginalisation (Baldwin 1992) –Violence is normative in prostitution (Farley and Barkan 1998; McKeganey and Barnard 1996).

5 5 Dancers and Hyper-femininity Turned out body of ballet maximises the power of the gaze (Thomas 2003) Visual ideal pertains to body size as well as movement –Common weight is far below average or healthy weight (Szmuckler et al 1985) –Sevenfold higher rates of anorexia among young dancers (Garner and Garfinkel 1980)

6 6 Boxers and Hyper-masculinity Ethos of toughness underpins boxing (Wacquant 2001) –Having heart means refusing to give up, despite the physical costs Exploitation is commonplace (Wacquant 1995) –Boxers describe it using three kindred idioms (Wacquant 2001): Prostitution Slavery Animal husbandry

7 7 Dealing with the Costs: Boxing Vocabularies of motive (Mills 1940): provide resources for identity construction in light of exploitation Among professional boxers, vocabularies take three forms (Wacquant 2001): –Exploitation is inescapable –The boxer as lone warrior –The individual exception to the collective rule

8 8 Dealing with the Costs: Prostitution Emotion management distances self from sex work (Brewis & Linstead 2000) –Four distancing strategies (Sanders 2005): Body exclusion zones Condoms as psychological barrier Preference for domination services View of sex work as work

9 9 Dealing with the Costs: Male Prostitution Distancing techniques used to define the sexual encounter (Browne and Minichiello 1995) Also control psychological content of commercial sex Managing clients physiological response Role-playing Drawing upon internal dialogues –Differentiate real self from role (ONeill 1996)

10 10 The Role of Humour Occupational groups use humour to define beliefs, behaviours and values (Zijderveld 1968) –Provides a coping strategy for dealing with illness and death (Moran and Massam 1997) –Maintains worker detachment (Alexander and Wells 1991) –Relieves fear, anxiety (Pitt 1979)

11 11 The Role of Humour Among prostitutes, humour shapes identities and routines (Sanders 2004) –Humour is a strategy for emotion labour/work: a resource for 1) business and 2) psychological distancing –Joking relations foster friendship and group membership –Jesting is used to convey information –Humour provides a means for re-interpreting hardships and risks

12 12 Body Labour (Kang 2003) : The provision of body-related services and the management of feelings that accompanies it (2003: 802) –Goal to acknowledge: emotional dimension of body labour relevance of gender, class and ethnicity in its performance and purchase

13 13 Kangs (2003) research sites: Uptown nails: Upper- and middle-class white clientele/high-service body labour Downtown nails: Lower-middle and working-class African American and Caribbean clientele/expressive body labour Crosstown nails: Middle-class and racially mixed clientele/instrumental body labour –The emotional and physical aspects of body labour accommodate the racial- and class-mix of each setting

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