The early 1980s represent a key moment in American culture when neoliberal politics and economic policy began to take hold under the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Airlines were among those corporations most affected by the weakening of union power and the increased competition that resulted from deregulation. This article views these changes through the lens of the Quipper—an underground publication produced by flight attendants who worked for Pan American World Airways. After a brief survey of Pan Am’s history, with particular attention to the corporate lore that contributed to the airline’s legendary allure, the Quipper is reviewed as a site for managing a common identity through satire and sass, rumor and innuendo. Publication of the Quipper allowed its writers to perform a kind of emotional labor—both for themselves and vicariously on behalf of their colleagues—in the face of corporate decline.


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pp. 1021-1037
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