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En öppen affär: Konsumenten och den handelsarbetande i ett intersektionellt perspektiv
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society.
2010 (Swedish)In: Scandia, ISSN 0036-5483, Vol. 76, no 1, 129-156 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the article is to analyse what new insights into the twentieth-century debate on retail opening hours an intersectional perspective with a discourse analysis can offer us. In focus is the use of categorisations in the meeting between people, and the reduction of the complexity this entails. An analysis of intersectionality amounts to a problematisation of this practice and its consequences. The sociologist Leslie McCall points out that there has been surprisingly little discussion of how to go about an intersectional study of a phenomenon, and argues that different methods produce different kinds of knowledge.

The source material used here consists of official publications in the form of official inquiry reports and parliamentary reports. By using anticategorical complexity, and the term social divisions in particular, predefined interpretations in the study of constructions of gender, class, and ethnicity are avoided, while taking a conflict perspective on the debate makes possible an analysis of the discursive struggle between free and regulated opening hours. With the help of intersectionality, two social positions are identified, consumers and retail workers, along with the social divisions that were used in their creation - indeed, it is by means of such creations that political change comes about. The long historical perspective reveals that many divisions can be important, and that the categorizations are continuously changing.

It is at the point of intersection between the social divisions constituted by gender (woman), sexuality (housewife, married woman), parenthood (mother), family, and space (Stockholm, the household) that the position occupied by consumers who need liberal opening hours is created. Age too plays a role, given that consumers need to consume at a specific period in their lives (mothers who have both waged work and small children). The position occupied by retail worker is for its part defined by divisions such as gender (man, woman), family (woman unable to work far from home), sexuality (parent, housewife), and age (parent with young children or schoolchildren).

The study shows that the same divisions are used over time, but they are used in different ways according to the discourse of which they are part or the position in question. It also shows that divisions and categorizations can act both inclusively and exclusively, depending on the period and whichever discourse happens to be in the ascendant. The retail workers were thus prioritized when the regulation discourse was hegemonic, whereas consumers were privileged once the discourse of liberal opening hours had taken over. Divisions and categorizations are always the objects of renegotiation, however; open deals indeed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Scandia , 2010. Vol. 76, no 1, 129-156 p.
Keyword [en]
retail opening hours; intersectionality; discourse analysis; consumer; retail worker; social divisions; categorization
Keyword [sv]
affärstider, konsument, handelsanställda, intersektionalitet, diskursanalys
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-58971ISI: 000278775800007OAI: diva2:357141

Title in English:

Open deals: consumers and retail workers in an intersectional perspective

Available from: 2010-10-15 Created: 2010-09-03 Last updated: 2016-05-26Bibliographically approved

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Engstrand, Åsa-Karin
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Business AdministrationFaculty of Arts and SciencesREMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society
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