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Aesthetic Labour at 'Brewsters' family theme pub.

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Introduction

OWT 308 Continuous Professional Development Portfolio (CPD) Joanne Ambler 0261289 1. Work Experience 2. Interview Experience 3. Work Experience 4. Newspaper Advertisement 5. Meeting 1. Aesthetic Labour at 'Brewsters' family theme pub Date: Summer 2004 What did you do? As part of my role as a 'Fun Factory' team member I dressed up as 'Brewster the bear' and paraded around the family theme pub, making hand gestures to young and old customers and acting mischievous. On one occasion I was disliked and punched by a young customer. Why? Customers seeing 'Brewster' is a major part of the company branded image and Fun Factory members take it in turns hourly, to act the bear role. On this occasion, I yelled at him as it hurt, consequently the customers were surprised I had done this. What did you learn from this in the context of OWT 308? Employees in front line service roles are social actors participating in dramaturgical presentation (Goffman, 1959). Once stepping into these roles, an idealised form of impression management is expected by management, colleagues and customers, thus performance is shaped by social interaction and audience expectations. Feelings embodied within our selves have been extracted, rationalised (Flam, 1990) and socially constructed (Jackson, 1993). Emotion as a resource has been commoditised and commercialised (Hoshchild, 1983) in management's objective to formally control subjective human elements. Corporate actors have to 'manage their emotions in specified ways - to display particular emotions and to suppress particular feelings' (Flam, 1990: 227), thus creating representative emotions (deep or surface level) to present the required 'face'. An extreme view is that a loss of personality and identity has been encapsulated by organisational scripts (Cremin, 2003). However, my experience shows emotions cannot be contained all the time, management cannot or do not, fully control this. Employees place their own meanings within interactions that may not adhere to the audience's or other colleagues', as some would have suppressed this un-prescribed emotion surfacing. ...read more.

Middle

Although generations of supposedly 'new thinking men' arise, patriarchy will still thrive as long as capitalism supports these norms; a cultural shift is required. Furthermore, the discussion of whether patriarchy actually exists and terminology, informs me that I should be critical of academic concepts which originally I took at face value. Sources www.eoc.org.uk Equal Opportunities Commission Accessed 21/11/04 www.cogsci.princeton.edu Dictionary Website Accessed 22/11/04 http://money.guardian.co.uk/news_/story/0,,1097211,00.html The Guardian Accessed 21/11/04 Bradley, H. (1999). Gender and Power in the Workplace. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press. de Beauvoir, S. (1983). The Second Sex. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Cockburn, C. (1991). In the Way of Women. London: Macmillan. Currie, E. (1999). Life Lines. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press. Lyndon, N. (1992). No More Sex Wars. London: Sinclair. Mahoney, J. (2004). Lecture Notes. Rowbotham, S., Segal, L., & Wainwright, H. (1979). Beyond the Fragments: Feminism and the Making of Socialism. London: Merlin Press. Said, E. (1977). Orientalism. New York: Pantheon. 3. Bullying in the Workplace Date: January 2001- August 2001 What did you do? I was working in the pharmacy department at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. For the last seven months I was there, I was bullied by my supervisor and consequently I left. Why? I left because the opportunity to study full-time education was there as an attractive alternative. What have you learnt? Bullying in the workplace is a popular political and media theme, as emphasised by the dignity at work bill. Firms are accused of not doing enough to prevent bullying 2. Difficulties arise in how to define the term (Bolton, 2004), identifying behaviours and problems of proof, subjective cognitive appraisals and interpretations between actors involved, as what is offensive to one may not be to another, will inevitably cause tribunal decision problems. Furthermore, how does HRM deal with it when divorced from the actual situation? In my experience, constant surveillance and verbal bullying by my supervisor occurred. Although not apparently lethal, this hostility emotionally exhausts the individual (Neuman and Baron, 1998). ...read more.

Conclusion

Additionally, although the EU rhetorically possess control, in reality the British government has modified the directive so that some occupations can opt out if they wish. Although it may seem the EU and British political structure is imposing work life balance legislation on employers and employees, individuals and groups have been active in demanding fairer work practices. What arises is whether HRM can manage disconnected work across spaces. 'UK managers have less control over events'(Benyon, Grimshaw, Rubery and Ward, 2002: 299) and so have difficulties meeting new workplace bargains such as paternity rights. How will this knowledge be useful to me in the future? In a work situation, I will be aware of procedures and legislation that stipulate what should happen in reality but that this may actually differ in practice. For example here, workers may not want equal balance illustrating the disconnections in practice and theory. If in future I am involved in workplace decisions, I will appreciate that mutual gain 'win, win' situations are difficult in reality, particularly where instrumental benefits are concerned. Also, that the political, economic, socio-cultural, organisational and individual levels as a multi-layered analysis should be considered if possible, as they all impact on reality to some degree, rather than focusing on one aspect. Sources www.eubusiness.com Accessed 2/12/04 Benyon, H., Grimshaw, D., Rubery, J., and Ward, K. (2002). Managing Employment Change. Oxford University Press. Bolton, S. (2004). Lecture Notes. Clegg, S. (1990). Modern Organizations: Organization Studies in the Postmodern World. London: Sage. Roper, I., Cunningham, I., and James, P. (2002). 'Promoting family-friendly policies: Is the basis of the Government's ethical standpoint viable?' Personnel Review, 32: 211-230. Thompson, P. and O'Connell Davidson, J. (1995). 'The continuity of discontinuity: Managerial rhetoric in turbulent times.' Personnel Review, 24: 17-33. Thompson, P. (2003). 'Disconnected capitalism: or why employers can't keep their side of the bargain.' Work, Employment and Society, 17: 359-378. Thompson, P. (2004) Lancaster University Seminar: 24/11/04 1 prejudice as prior opinion which prevents objective judgement (www.cogsci.princeton.edu). 2 www.bbc.co.uk 27/10/04 3 www.bulliesdownunder.com/harper.htm 4 www.asia-europe-institute.org ?? ?? ?? ?? 2 1 ...read more.

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