Date of Award

8-6-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Degree Program

Sociology

Department

Sociology

Major Professor

Mann, Susan A.

Second Advisor

Baxter, Vern

Third Advisor

Jenkins, Pamela

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between gender roles and habitus in service industry occupations. It draws primarily from the works of Pierre Bourdieu and Judith Butler. Data includes an exploratory focus group, non-participant observations and interviews with women currently or formerly employed as bartenders, bar backs, servers, or hostesses. The main themes that emerged included how habitus is affected by views of employment, drug and alcohol use, the naturalization of gender roles, and the effect of appearance standards. This study supports previous feminist works that posit that gender as a performance, not a biological trait. Further this performance is used to navigate specific social experiences such as those in a workplace. This paper also comments on current enforcement of Title VII with reference to gender discrimination.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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