Occupational stigma among further education teaching staff in hair and beauty: Mild but challenging

Harness, Oonagh (2022) Occupational stigma among further education teaching staff in hair and beauty: Mild but challenging. Gender, Work & Organization. ISSN 0968-6673 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12847

Abstract

This article explores how Further Education (FE) lecturers and trainers manage a mild stigma that socially taints their work through a discourse intersecting gender and class. To frame their experiences, I draw upon identity work tactics established within the dirty work literature. Through an interview and observational study, the potency of cultural imagery and discourse is shown to manifest as a stigma. This stigma differentiates those associated with hair and beauty work by imposing discrediting tropes pertaining to skill, class status and social value. Lecturers and trainers become tainted by proxy through association to an industry and interaction with bodies that are discredited through a gender-class discourse. Through close proximal positioning to a tainted subject matter, FE lecturers and trainers rely upon esteem-enhancing strategies to minimize discrediting assumptions. The students they teach may embody stigma through tainted attributes that signal working-class femininity, yet they enable FE lecturers and trainers to minimize taint by drawing from an alternate discourse that celebrates upward cultural mobility and a more refined iteration of femininity. By broadening the landscape of stigma to recognise it as milder than its extreme theorisation in dirty work, this article explores discourse and representation as a centralising source of stigma.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: class, discourse, embodiment, gender, identity work, stigma
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
N900 Others in Business and Administrative studies
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2022 11:19
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2022 10:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/48805

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