Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Service as performance: How do class differences affect hospitality interactions?

Date:
August 11, 2011
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Is your hairdresser seething with hidden resentment? Do you subconsciously want to dominate the people who serve you? According to a new study, customers and hospitality workers engage in a game of status that plays out in their everyday encounters.

Is your hairdresser seething with hidden resentment? Do you subconsciously want to dominate the people who serve you? According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, customers and hospitality workers engage in a game of status that plays out in their everyday encounters.

Related Articles


"When we think about a service context in a high-end hospitality industry such as a spa, a luxury hotel or a cruise, the image that comes to our mind is a serene, peaceful setting with numerous friendly, empathetic service providers working hard to take care of the customers," write authors Tuba άstόner (Colorado State University) and Craig J. Thompson (University of Wisconsin-Madison).

In this imagined world, satisfied, happy customers treat service providers with respect and reward them with generous tips. However, the reality behind that idyllic vision is quite different, the authors explain.

The authors interviewed consumers and employees in the hairdressing industry in metropolitan regions of Turkey, which caters to affluent and secular clients. Hairdressers are often young men, who come from rural, religiously conservative areas. "Hairdressing is regarded as a working-class trade, and hence, its labor pool is largely constituted by rural migrants, squatters, and other members of the urban underclass," the authors explain. What happens when these men (most of whom did not advance beyond primary school) are called upon to serve middle- or upper-middle-class women?

Turkish salons can include valet parking, music, and food and beverages. The salon's employees spend up to three hours pampering each client. But class roles are strictly enforced, and consumers set the boundaries for conversation and interaction.

"These service interactions are a performance, much like a theatrical one where each party has its roles to play," the authors write. "But the scripts are not neutral; rather, they reflect the customers' desire to reenact their class-based dominance over their hairdressers." However, service workers are not powerless in these situations: "On the contrary, the game that is being played is what we call an interdependent status game, where customers are as much dependent on the service providers as service providers are on customers," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tuba άstόner and Craig J. Thompson. How Marketplace Performances Produce Interdependent Status Games and Contested Forms of Symbolic Capital. Journal of Consumer Research, February 2012 DOI: 10.1086/660815

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Service as performance: How do class differences affect hospitality interactions?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810093754.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2011, August 11). Service as performance: How do class differences affect hospitality interactions?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810093754.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Service as performance: How do class differences affect hospitality interactions?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810093754.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) — The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins