Division, segmentation, and interpellation: The embodied labors of migrant workers in a Greater London hotel

Linda McDowell, Adina Batnitzky, Sarah Dyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this article, we explore the ways in which a divided and segmented migrant labor force is assembled to serve guests in a London hotel. We draw on previous studies of hotel work, as well as on cultural analyses of the ways in which employers and managers use stereotypical assumptions about the embodied attributes of workers to name workers as suitable for particular types of labor. We argue that a dual process of interpellation operates within service-sector workplaces that is reinforced and resisted in daily social practices and relationships between managers, workers, and guests in a hotel. The article, which draws on a case study of employment practices in a large London hotel, looks in detail at the micropolitics of everyday working lives, the representation of workers of different nationalities, and the performance of service work. © 2007 Clark University.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages24
JournalEconomic Geography
Volume83
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

Keywords

  • Divisions of labor
  • Dual interpellation
  • Greater London
  • Hotel
  • Migration
  • Performativity
  • Service sector

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