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Joan Sangster & Julia Smith

Joan Sangster Julia Smith

Best Article Prize in Labour History


Joan Sangster & Julia Smith, “Beards and Bloomers: Flight Attendants, Grievances and Embodied Labour in the Canadian Airline Industry, 1960s–1980s.” Gender, Work & Organization, Vol. 23, no 2, pp. 183-199.

This article by Joan Sangster and Julia Smith examines union grievances dealing with the body, appearance and demeanour fought by the Canadian Air Line Flight Attendants Association, on behalf of its female and male members over a 30-year period. Taking a historical, materialist-feminist approach, they examine how workers used the grievance system to resist regulations they believed contradicted their right to dignified labour.  Sangster and Smith’s article is a valuable addition to the literature on labour struggles in the airline industry.  They skillfully integrate gender into their analysis and show how workers used the Fordist labour relations system to challenge corporate efforts to shape aesthetic and emotional labour.