Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-56f9d74cfd-w6k7h Total loading time: 0.281 Render date: 2022-06-25T18:36:02.621Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Embodying Labor, Then and Now

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 July 2012

Carol Wolkowitz
Affiliation:
University of Warwick

Extract

In her introduction to the new edition of Women on the Line, first published in 1982, Miriam Glucksmann notes that it had been written well before the body and embodiment had become an explicit focus of studies of work and employment. However, rereading Women on the Line reminds us that ethnographers have long paid attention to the embodied aspects of work, although few of them have written about them as eloquently as Glucksmann. In the original volume she was able to articulate how it felt to experience herself in relation to her environment, a phenomenological perspective made possible by her adoption of an autoethnographic writing style (a strategy linked to her rejection both of a narrowly academic approach and, in consequence, of the disembodied authorial voice that tended to go with it). Perhaps another reason why Glucksmann was able to write about her working on the line with such sensitivity to the embodiment of the experience is that she was new to assembly line work, so the embodied routines of factory life had not yet been submerged below the level of conscious articulation. It is useful therefore to summarize what she had to say and to think about how we can build on it.

Type
Thirty Years on from Women on the Line: Researching Gender and Work
Copyright
Copyright © International Labor and Working-Class History, Inc. 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1. Glucksmann, Miriam, Women on the Line (London, 2009).Google Scholar

2. Ibid., 75.

3. Glucksmann, Miriam, Women Assemble: Women Workers and the New Industries in Inter-war Britain (London, 1990).Google Scholar

4. Ibid. See also, for instance, Glucksmann's, MiriamCotton and Casuals: The Gendered Organization of Labour in Time and Space (Durham, UK, 2000)Google Scholar and Why Work?: Gender and the Total Social Organization of Labour,” Gender, Work and Organization 2 (1995):6375.Google Scholar

5. Wolkowitz, Carol and Warhurst, Chris, “Embodying Labour” in Working Life: Renewing Labour Process Analysis, ed. Thompson, Paul and Smith, Chris (Basingstoke, UK, 2010).Google Scholar

6. Ngai, Pun, Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace (Durham, NC, 2005).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

7. Salzinger, Leslie, Genders in Production: Making Workers in Mexico's Global Factories (Berkeley, 2003).Google Scholar

8. Pun Ngai, Made in China, 105.

9. Lan, P.-C., “The Body as a Contested Terrain for Labor Control: Cosmetics Retailers in Department Stores and Direct Selling” in The Critical Study of Work, ed. Baldoz, R., Koeber, C., and Kraft, P. (Philadelphia, 2001).Google Scholar

10. Wolkowitz, Carol, Bodies at Work (London, 2006)Google Scholar; Twigg, Julia, Wolkowitz, Carol, Cohen, Rachel, and Nettleton, Sarah, “Conceptualising Body Work in Health and Social Care,” Sociology of Health and Illness 33 (2011).Google Scholar

11. Kent, Katherine, “Employment Changes over 30 Years,” Economic and Labour Market Review 3 (2009): 34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

12. Cohen, Rachel, “Time, Space and Touch: Body Work and the Labour Process” Sociology of Health and Illness 33 (2011): 193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

13. Paterson, Mark, “Haptic Geographies,” Progress in Human Geography 33 (2009).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

14. Glucksmann, Women on the Line, 55.

15. Theodosius, Catherine, The Unmanaged Heart of Emotional Labour in Health Care (London, 2008).Google Scholar

16. Wolkowitz and Warhurst, “Embodying Labour.”

17. Black, Paula, The Beauty Industry (Abingdon, OX, UK 2004)Google Scholar and Kang, Miliann, The Managed Hand: Race, Gender and the Body in the Beauty Service Industry (Berkeley, 2010).Google Scholar

18. Diamond, Tim, Making Gray Gold: Narratives of Nursing Home Care (Chicago, 1992)Google Scholar; Lopez, Steven, “Culture Change Management in Long-term CarePolitics and Society 34 (2006).Google Scholar

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Embodying Labor, Then and Now
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Embodying Labor, Then and Now
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Embodying Labor, Then and Now
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *