Young, Enduring, and Patient: Gendered Experiences of the Female Retail Workers in Ä°stanbul's Shopping Malls

Sözen, Ülker
December 2013
Kadin/Woman 2000;Dec2013, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p93
Academic Journal
This paper investigates the objective and subjective aspects of the labor process of female retail workers employed in Istanbul's four major shopping malls. The paper's main focus is to examine the gendered and embodied performances and experiences of the saleswomen both at the workplace and in other parts of their lives in relation to the effects of their employment. It analyzes their working conditions, work attitudes, career expectations, self-images, and experiences of these workers both at work and in their private lives. In the first part, female employment patterns in Turkey and the laboring process at the shopping malls is discussed. Consecutively, relevant theoretical debates on employment and women's liberation, and affective forms of labor are presented. The research utilizes on-site observation and interviews with twenty-two female retail workers. The findings are presented in two parts; one displays the working conditions and the gendered labor of the workers, and the other discusses their experiences out of work, career expectations and whether paid labor brings autonomy and liberation for female retail workers.


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