The house rules: Autonomy and interests among service workers in the contemporary casino industry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

This ethnography of blackjack dealing at a corporate casino in Nevada reveals that dealers, to make tips, regularly violate the house's directives for regulating their interactive labor. Although the emergent sociology of service work has highlighted novel dilemmas of autonomy (workers must be free to provide "authentic" emotional labor) and interests (workers may team up with clients) for management, it too narrowly focuses on the service labor process and, thus, cannot fully account for the genesis and functions of the casino's system of labor control. This regime is analyzed as a "hegemonic" regime. This entails, first, specifying the structural changes in the American gambling industry that have led to the contemporary competitive casino's tipped labor system; and second, elucidating the functions for management of ceding to workers a degree of freedom: lower labor costs and customized service provision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-427+393
JournalWork and Occupations
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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