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Ordinary People Come Through Here?: Locating the Beauty Salon in Women's Lives
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 19:51 authored by Paula Black
Beauty therapy is part of a vast multi-national, multi-million pound beauty industry. The beauty salon lies at the heart of a complex set of discourses and practices. Research conducted in the salon sheds light upon a number of key sociological debates including; issues of health and well-being; gendered employment practices; the construction and maintenance of gender identity and sexuality; body practices; and leisure activities. In this sense the salon may be used as a microcosm in which to investigate wider sociological concerns. In this paper, I will draw upon the testimonies of beauty salon clients, and beauty therapists. I describe four areas of treatment: pampering; routine grooming; health treatments; and corrective treatments. These areas are investigated in depth and related to different spheres in the woman's life. In particular, I show how the beauty salon is drawn upon in helping to negotiate the balance between these competing arenas. The ambivalences of achieving an 'appropriate' appearance in these differing spheres is investigated. Their implication in the self-surveillance of the client is also discussed.
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- Sociology and Criminology Publications
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