Skip to main content

The Contradictions of Communicative Labor in Service Work

Buy Article:

$53.17 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Boundaries dividing communication and culture from economy are fluid. The US services economy, with broad and deep growth, illustrates this fluidity. This paper applies theorizations of the relationship between communication and capitalism to a customer service job-training course for dislocated workers. A site of communication education, the course teaches students to be successful customer service representatives. Customer service communicative labor bridges production and consumption and, thus, is contradictory. The communicative labor translates the communication commonplace of mutuality into a self-other technology to affirm customers, and also requires a technology that objectifies customers. Job-training students resist this contradiction.

Keywords: Communication Commonplaces; Communicative Labor; Job Training; Resistance; Service Work

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-06-01

  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more