Title

The Emotional Consequences of Service Work: An Ethnographic Examination of Hair Salon Workers.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2010

Publication Source

Sociological Focus

Volume

43

Issue

1

Inclusive pages

41-60

ISBN/ISSN

00380237

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

This article explores the connections between service work and the everyday lived emotional experiences of hair salon workers. Over the past few years, numerous studies have linked service work with various social psychological outcomes, including well-being, job satisfaction, emotional exhaustion, depression, and stress. In an effort to explore the connections between service work and the everyday lived emotional experiences of service workers, original data in the form of non-participant field observations and in-depth interviews of 25 hair salon workers were collected in a moderately sized Midwestern college town. Our findings are generally consistent with the power and status theories of emotion described by Theodore Kemper (1984; 1990; 1991) and Randall Collins (1984; 1990). Customer service interactions are conducive to both positive and negative emotional outcomes. Specifically, complimentary evaluations and the conferral of intimacy favor feelings of pride and happiness, while unsatisfactory evaluations and the denial of intimacy contribute to feelings of anger and sadness.

Keywords

Emotional Labor, Service Work, Hair Salon, Customer Service, Status

Disciplines

Sociology

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