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CISDOC database

Document ID (ISN)111941
CIS number 11-0737
ISSN - Serial title 0968-6673 - Gender, work and organization
Year 2003
Convention or series no.
Author(s) Williams C.
Title Sky service: The demands of emotional labour in the airline industry
Bibliographic information Nov. 2003, Vol.10, No.5, p.513-550. 59 ref.
Internet access Sky_service.pdf [in English]
Abstract This article draws on earlier literature on emotional work among flight attendants. Using a qualitative and quantitative study of nearly 3000 Australian flight attendants, it focuses on organizational and occupational safety and health variables, as well as sexual harassment and passenger abuse. The qualitative data indicate that emotional labour is both pleasurable and difficult at different times for the same individual. Gender is a key aspect, linking emotional work with sexual harassment. At the same time, the most significant predictors from the quantitative study of whether emotional work would be costly were organizational. Variables such as whether flight attendants felt valued by the company show that the airline management context is highly influential in the way in which emotional work is experienced. As a means of understanding the complex relations in this important and eroticized area of service work where flight attendants, airline crews, airline management and passengers have convergent and conflicting interests, the article also presents a new concept of "demanding publics", to refer to transgressions of acceptable boundaries of behaviour towards service workers.
Descriptors (primary) Australia; psychology and sociology; mental health; women; air transport; risk factors; sexual harassment
Descriptors (secondary) human behaviour; human relations; questionnaire survey
Document type D - Periodical articles
Subject(s) Psychology and sociology
Transport and communications
Broad subject area(s) Stress, psychosocial factors
Browse category(ies) Air transportation
Psychological factors
Sexual harassment
Bullying and mobbing