What does it mean to work in the ‘hip’ postmodern economy? This book develops the concept of ‘affected labour’ within Melbourne, Australia. Through the lens of café and bar culture, the book provides an ethnographic investigation into the ways that affect arises, circulates, sticks and dissipates over the course of everyday encounters.
The dynamics and atmospheres of affective labour among those working in the hospitality-oriented environments are unfolded. Service work is rooted in the notion that labour is ‘performed’ by an exhausted worker for a demanding customer. This book goes beyond this idea by describing the way not only consumers are moved by the experience and seduced by the atmosphere, but more pressingly workers and employers.
This book reveals the ways in which workers themselves are capitalised on by being affected pleasurably in the moment, fuelling an economy of short-term desires in which ‘affected labourers’ are manipulated.
Table of Contents
1. Being Moved in Immaterial Economies/ Work and self in the precarious postmodern / In pursuit of ‘life-value’: the ascendency of immaterial production / Affect: the feelings before emotion / Spinoza: on desiring pleasure and pain 2. Melbourne’s Affect: The Production of a ‘Hip’ Industry / ‘Melbourne style’ cafés / Common sense knowledge in ‘hip’ spaces / Unpredictability and production in ‘the moment’ 3. The Customer is Not Always Right / ‘Feel your crowd’: the force of the first encounter / ‘Hip’ ecologies of interaction: transparency / Fit in, or fuck off 4. Behind Bars: A Logic of Detachment / View from the top: the social platform in affective workspaces / ‘Hip’ ecologies of interaction: detachment / Pastiche, misrepresentations, and smokescreens 5. Only Give Up on a Good Day: The Force of Pleasure in ‘The Moment’ / Short-term trajectories / ‘Hip’ ecologies of interaction: ephemerality / Affected investments: identifying with the workplace 6. The ‘Hip’ Gentrification of Precarious Work 7. Research Methodology
Alexia Cameron continues to develop and refine her practice in sociology. Her work is interested in the intersections between affect and emotion; work, production and economy; and postmodern cultures. She can be contacted at: [email protected]