Emotional Labor and the Pawnshop Worker
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The preponderance of the service sector in the U.S. has led sociologists to study how service workers may encounter exploitation in a variety of service occupations (Erickson 2004). Currently, no sociologists have studied the possible forms of exploitation that may affect pawnshop workers. This study is guided by Hochschild‘s (1983) theory of emotional labor, using semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 15 pawnshop workers. My data suggest new ways of thinking about emotional labor among service workers. I find that there are positive and negative aspects of emotional labor performances of pawnshop workers. The triangular relations within pawnshops differ from many service occupations within the U.S. I also find that gender influences pawnshop interactions. My conclusion discusses the implications of these findings on Hochschild‘s (1983) concept of emotional labor, the limitations and advantages to this study, and avenues for future research.