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The “Right” Person for the Job: Exploring the Aesthetics Of Labor Within the Events Industry

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The events industry is an underresearched section of the service sector and can be usefully understood as a “customer-orientated bureaucracy” (Korczynski, 2002). The dual, and often contradictory, logics of customer orientation and bureaucratization coexist and place heavy demands on employees. The concept of aesthetic labor, first conceived by Warhurst, Nickson, Witz, and Cullen (2000), has been usefully applied to recruitment processes in other parts of the service sector, notably hospitality and retail, in order to understand better the complex and embodied demands required of employees in contemporary service organizations. This article presents an exploratory study into the recruitment process in the events industry in the UK. Through an analysis of online event management job advertisements, the implicit embodied attributes required of successful candidates are explored, and the underlying gendered and class-based assumptions of these corporeal dispositions are considered.
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Keywords: AESTHETIC LABOR; EVENT MANAGEMENT; GENDER; RECRUITMENT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 17 July 2013

More about this publication?
  • Event Management, an International Journal, intends to meet the research and analytic needs of a rapidly growing profession focused on events. This field has developed in size and impact globally to become a major business with numerous dedicated facilities, and a large-scale generator of tourism. The field encompasses meetings, conventions, festivals, expositions, sport and other special events. Event management is also of considerable importance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations in a pursuit of a variety of goals, including fund-raising, the fostering of causes, and community development.
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