Beyond emotion: interactive service work and the skills of women

Anne Junor, Ian Hampson*, Alison Barnes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Jobs in the increasingly diverse service economy are often described using a knowledge worker/low skill dichotomy, with debate centred on where the line between the two is drawn. We problematise the generalised ascription of low skill to jobs in which women are concentrated, unpacking concepts such as routinisation and 'social and aesthetic' competencies. Analysing examples from research in New Zealand, we argue for a wider conceptualisation of 'emotional' and 'aesthetic' labour in terms of its active cognitive, relational and ethical components, and extend the analysis to the 'invisible' skills that link and integrate fragmented work processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-373
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Aesthetic labour
  • Articulation work
  • Emotion management
  • Emotional labour
  • Gender
  • Interactive service work
  • Skill


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