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Gender performances in a service orientated workplace in Aotearoa/New Zealand

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This paper uses Butler's (1990) concept of performativity to explore the constructions of feminine and masculine identities integral to the gendered bodily performance in ‘interactive’ service economies. The empirical research for this paper is based on Fat Freddie's student pub in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and was collected over an eight-week period using an ethnographic methodology. While Butler argues we ‘do’ gender, I explore how these ‘fabrications’ are naturalized, and the effect this has on the division of labour within Fat Freddie's. While these performances are regulatory, they are, however, unstable and alternate subject positionings can be adopted. I discuss how these subject positionings within Fat Freddie's can disrupt dichotomized gendered divisions and hegemonic understandings of appropriate gendered roles and identities.
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Keywords: body; gender; gendered identities; gendered roles; performance; workplace

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-12-01

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