Cashiers’ work-time: Between a productivity mentality and a service mentality
Bernard, Sophie (2007), Cashiers’ work-time: Between a productivity mentality and a service mentality, Sociologie du travail, 49, suppl 2, p. 129-144. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.soctra.2007.10.001
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal nameSociologie du travail
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Abstract (EN)At first sight, the work-time put in by cashiers at checkout counters seems homogeneous, continuous and repetitive. An empirical study of hypermarket cashiers in France shows, on the contrary, that the time spent working is relatively discontinuous and diversified. It is similar to the time on the job put in by semiskilled workers in industry. What characterizes cashiers’ work is their having to manage flows of both products and customers. Their work-time can, therefore, be understood as a compromise that comes out of balancing productivity with human relations, a compromise that sometimes causes conflict. By acquiring an “incorporated know-how”, cashiers manage to fill their assignment.
Subjects / KeywordsWork-time; Fluidity principle; Cashiers; Service mentality; France
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