Abstract

With its surveillance mechanisms, tipping system, and sexualized environment, the casino industry is an intriguing site for a gendered diagnostics of workplace politics. Drawing on 18 months of participant observation at three casinos, I argue that managers, coworkers, and customers attempt to control waitress appearance and behavior through surveillance, gendered hegemony, and financial incentives. Cocktail waitresses resist in subtle forms—"infrapolitics" and occasionally collective action. Feminist research, to consider women such as cocktail waitresses as multidimensional actors, must both avoid a common binary between sexual and nonsexual gendered work and take into consideration women's own subjectivities. Feminist workplace ethnography is particularly well suited to help us understand women workers' experiences of power and modes of resistance.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1468-2893
Print ISSN
1072-4745
Pages
pp. 346-376
Launched on MUSE
2004-03-12
Open Access
No
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