Unmasking workers in the Victoria, BC restaurant community: women's serving experiences before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Date

2021-12-13

Authors

Kostuchuk, Jennifer

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Abstract

This exploratory study investigates the serving experiences of seven women with work experience in the Victoria, BC restaurant community before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Informed by work from Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical analysis on social performance and Candace West and Don Zimmerman’s ideas on doing gender, my overall goal is to answer the following research question(s): How do women servers in Victoria, BC perceive their restaurant work and has the COVID-19 pandemic influenced their serving experiences? Specifically, if the pandemic has changed the industry, what are these key changes, and might they affect the future of restaurant work? The research findings reveal that Canadian restaurants are gendered worksites, and while the pandemic facilitated some positive changes for servers it also surfaced longstanding restaurant concerns.

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Keywords

feminism, gender, restaurant culture, human rights, community, intersectionality, social justice, workplace mistreatment, social performance, emotional labour, qualitative methodologies

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