Gendering at work: The production, performance and regulation of gendered subjects at a Stellenbosch restaurant

Crous M.E. (2010)


This article explores the social relations between restaurant staff in a busy Stellenbosch restaurant. Following Judith Butler's theoretical understanding of gender as a performative displacement onto bodies, I will methodologically show how the everyday practice of work in a restaurant is an example of a series of gendering performances producing gendered subjects. I analyse visible and invisible authorities that regulate subjects' performances, and reward and punish them accordingly. These authorities regulate speech acts and 'techniques of the body', which I suggest are performances of restaurant labour that produce gender. Everyday practice in a restaurant, such as tipping, shows the performative nature of gendered subjects, the multiple authorities that regulate their roles, and the limits of their agency. © South African Sociological Association.

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