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Great expectations : gender, looks and lookism at work

Warhurst, Chris and Van den Broek, Di and Hall, Richard and Nickson, Dennis (2012) Great expectations : gender, looks and lookism at work. International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 5 (1). pp. 72-90. ISSN 1740-8938

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Abstract

Drawing on archival data of employment discrimination from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission in Australia, this article examines the issue of employee looks, women and lookism in interactive service work. From existing research on emotional and aesthetic labour, lookism might be expected to occur primarily in services and primarily involve female workers. The findings suggest that these expectations are largely met. However, the data also reveal that men in services also claim lookism and that lookism extends beyond interactive services into other industries such as manufacturing. This article concludes by discussing the implications of these unexpected findings for the study of lookism.