Uncertain Lives: Neoliberalism and the Shaping of Home Among Service Workers in Gatlinburg
Department or Administrative Unit
Anthropology and Museum Studies
This paper examines the practice of living in weekly rental residences among low-wage, tourist industry workers in Gatlinburg, considering how personal understandings of “home” interface with aneoliberal “flexible” labor system. While this is a critique of mass tourism in Gatlinburg, I want to emphasize that the working and living conditions described here are not unique. Across the U.S.neoliberal restructuring of the wage labor system leaves workers with only low-wage, flexible, or contingent job options (Bourgois 2003; Bourgois and Schonberg 2009; Fairbanks and Lloyd 2011).In this respect, Gatlinburg shares similarities with other American towns and cities, especially in Appalachia, where deindustrialization has been accompanied by a growth in contingent, part-time service work (Cattell-Gordon 1990; Dudley 1994; Newman 1985; Tice and Billings 1991). I suggest that these flexible labor systems produce chronic economic uncertainty that results in a refashioning of homemaking practices that produce shifts in the order and function and meanings of home spaces.
Amason, J. H. (2015). Uncertain Lives: Neoliberalism and the Shaping of Home Among Service Workers in Gatlinburg. North American Dialogue, 18(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/nad.12026
North American Dialogue
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