Transient craft: reclaiming the contemporary craft worker

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This article joins with Richard Sennett’s (2008) reclamation of the craft worker, but also extends it. Through a focus on craft as experience and repetitive practice, Sennett reveals how craft is a key facet of several contemporary professions. Using the example of hairdressing, this article moves beyond Sennett’s conclusions, illuminating how craft is at work within female-dominated service professions. The article adds to the growing body of literature on hairdressing, recognizing that while this literature involves body and emotion work, such growth has been at the exclusion of the craft components of the work. More broadly, the article argues that the craft of service work is obscured by the intangibility of the materials produced and the practices performed, thus limiting the value of such work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-495
Number of pages16
JournalWork, Employment & Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2014


  • Contemporary employment
  • Craft
  • Craft practice
  • Craft worker
  • Hairdressing
  • Service work
  • Skill
  • Tools


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