Concepts of Aesthetic Labor in the Marketplace
Aesthetic labor is a concept that focuses on how workers` appearances are appropriated, controlled, and transmuted for commercial gain (Steven 2012). Aesthetic labor is all about embodiment. Workers are the hardware and software of organizations, trained to perform an organizational aesthetic, and to represent a service offering (Steven 2012). The hardware is the marketing material, physical environment, and product design while software represents the workers. Workers are asked to conduct themselves in properly in terms of gesture, posture, facial characteristic, eye contact, and use of personal space. Those who possess the organizational aesthetic are groomed and recruited so that they assume the characteristic traits that aid in defining the organization. However, they should also possess the right attitude. Right attitude along with attractive appearance allows positive interaction with clients (Steven 2012).
The importance of `soft` skills in service roles recognizes the essential role performed by aesthetics such as the bodily appearance of workers (Steven 2012). However, in the past years, “lookism” has been recognized to be a form of discrimination. The `soft` skills relative to service roles, while considered to be necessary, they are not specifically values when it comes to remuneration (Steven 2012). In various respects, this can be astonishing since the central role of marketing concept is customer satisfaction and customer focus.
Gender is another thing to consider in aesthetic labor market. Aesthetic labor is gendered labor thus it necessitates understanding as a type of cultural and social capital, every bit as powerful as class, age, and ethnicity (Steven 2012). Frontline jobs, for instance, are explicitly gendered. Service roles likewise embody and mirror a feminine aesthetic. Such adherence to feminine aesthetic generally leads in the recruitment of more women than men.
Stevens, L. (2012). “Feeling bodies” in marketing: Aesthetics, emotions and gender. Marketing Review, 12(2), 141-159.

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