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Working on Hair

Lawson, Helene M (1999) Working on Hair. Qualitative Sociology, 22 (3). 127 - 138. ISSN 0162-0436

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This article examines the complex interactions that occur in some contemporary beauty salons and barbershops, focusing on barbers, cosmetologists and clients in a white, working- to middle-class area of rural Northwestern Pennsylvania and in two middle- to upper-class urban areas in Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California. Through participant observation and in-depth interviews, this study finds that salons and barbershops are gender and class-marked environments where barbers, cosmetologists and their clients come to manage gender and class identities. Most importantly this research reveals two interesting, somewhat inverse trends in this workforce. On the one hand, there is increasing class stratification in different types of hair salons from upscale to mass franchise operations. On the other hand, there is a declining level of gender segregation among both hair workers and their clients.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lawson, Helene Mlawson@pitt.eduLAWSON
Date: 1999
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Qualitative Sociology
Volume: 22
Number: 3
Publisher: Springer
Page Range: 127 - 138
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1023/a:1022957805531
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender, work, hairstylist, barber
ISSN: 0162-0436
Official URL:
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2012 20:42
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 18:59


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