‘Creamy and seductive’: gender surveillance in flight attendant work

Smith, W. E., de Jong, A. , Cohen, S. and Kimbu, A. N. (2023) ‘Creamy and seductive’: gender surveillance in flight attendant work. Annals of Tourism Research, 98, 103507. (doi: 10.1016/j.annals.2022.103507)

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Despite attempts by airlines and the wider tourism industry to cultivate more diverse working environments, gendered practices and pressures persist. A feminist poststructuralist approach involving interviews with flight attendants from three airlines is used to examine how airlines attempt to construct the ideal aesthetic flight attendant, and how individual workers may resist these gendered practices through their work. The findings demonstrate that airlines consistently shape and discipline flight attendants' gendered grooming performances through rules, peer-surveillance and engendering self-regulation. While flight attendants occasionally employ subtle forms of resistance, they primarily adhere to traditional gender norms. The paper provides a conceptual shift from binary perspectives on surveillance in tourism work to a relational understanding that reveals circulatory force.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:de Jong, Dr Anna
Creator Roles:
de Jong, A.Conceptualization, Supervision, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Smith, W. E., de Jong, A., Cohen, S., and Kimbu, A. N.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social & Environmental Sustainability
Journal Name:Annals of Tourism Research
ISSN (Online):1873-7722
Published Online:04 January 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Annals of Tourism Research 98: 103507
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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