Giovanna Fullin Fabio Gaspani

Emotions and aesthetic in service work: a map for the sociology of work

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In the service sector, the worker-customer interactions are shaped and controlled by management as part of the production process. With the aim to enrich the perspectives usually adopted by the Italian sociology in analysing workers’ performance and tasks, the article outlines the main issues addressed by the international literature on emotions and aesthetic in service organizations. After having framed the interactive sphere of service work, the article illustrates the concept of emotional and aesthetic labour. The joint consideration of the emotional and aesthetic dimensions is fundamental to understand the functioning of organisations, as well as the labour processes and the working conditions in the service sector. The concluding section highlights some relevant implications for the sociology of work, in terms of workers’ well-being and satisfaction as well as in relation to the risks of discrimination in entering front-line occupations


  • service work
  • emotional labour
  • aesthetic labour
  • front-line workers
  • discrimination


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