Styling the worker

Gender and the commodification of language in the globalized service economy

This paper discusses some sociolinguistic characteristics of the speech style prescribed to workers for interacting with customers in service contexts, focusing in particular on the linguistic and vocal 'styling' prescribed for operators in telephone call centres in the U.K. Attention is drawn to the similarities between the preferred style of speech and what is popularly thought of as 'women's language'. The intensive regulation of service workers speech and the valorization of 'feminine' communication styles are analysed in relation to changes occuring as a consequence of economic globalization.

Released: Replika 45–46, 213–237.
Replika block:
Nóra Schleicher