Producing the dining experience: measure, subjectivity and the affective worker

Dowling, Emma (2007) Producing the dining experience: measure, subjectivity and the affective worker. Ephemera : Theory and Politics in Organization, 7 (1) . pp. 117-132. ISSN 1473-2866 [Article]


One of the major contributions of the operaista tradition is the concept – and hands-on investigation – of class compostion. A detailed analysis of the real conditions of workers today is necessary to validate any analysis of contemporary capitalism, as well as its potential sites of struggle; only thus can the concepts of immaterial and affective labour be useful politically. This article is a contribution to such an effort. Working as a waitress in a restaurant in a metropolitan city, where both the product of my work and the means by which it was produced were highly ‘affective’, I have been in a privileged position to experience first-hand the material conditions of this type of labour. This article addresses the way in which affective and immaterial labour have been characterised in the literature from the point of view of my experience. How well does the way in which these forms of labour are defined apply to the service work I performed? In particular I will take up the debates around the organisation and (im-)measurability of affective labour, and how this can (or cannot) open up possibilities for resistance in the specific context of my example. I then wish to show what can be generalised from this case study and consider what this means for the further development of the debates around affective and immaterial labour.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 11749
Depositing User: Emma Dowling
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2013 08:18
Last Modified: 09 May 2017 13:22

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.