This article argues that the service encounter is an important site for studying dimensions related to gender and power relations in front-line service work. The shift from bureaucracy towards the market and from positional power to personal power has changed the circumstances of service work. Drawing on research from a Norwegian retail bank, this article illustrates the transformation of teller work into seller work. The written stories from the workers highlight how these women become personally responsible for solving the dilemmas related to the inherent contradictions in their organization. Given the emphasis on the pleasures of customer interaction in their accounts, it is interesting to note that most of the stories deal with what they perceived of as ‘difficult customers’. Especially at times of customer disillusionment, the women workers were not constituted as representatives of the bank, but as gendered personas. In turn, this activated gendered cultural scripts and symbols.
Twelve years ago, Why Gender Matters broke ground in illuminating the differences between boys and girls–how they perceive the world differently, how they learn differently, how they process emotions and take risks differently. Dr. Sax argued that in failing to recognize these hardwired differences between boys and girls, we ended up reinforcing damaging stereotypes, medicalizing bad behavior, and failing to support kids to reach their full potential. In the intervening decade, the world has changed drastically, with an avalanche of new research which supports, deepens, and expands Dr. Sax’s work. This revised and updated edition includes new findings about how boys and girls interact differently with social media and video games; a new discussion of research on gender non-conforming, LGB, and transgender kids, new findings about how girls and boys see differently, hear differently, and even smell differently; and new material about the medicalization of misbehavior.
Leonard Sax MD PhD graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at the age of 19, and then went on to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned both a PhD in psychology, and an MD. He completed a 3-year residency in family practice in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. For 19 years, Dr. Sax was a practicing family physician in Maryland, just outside Washington DC. He now sees patients in West Chester, Pennsylvania (west of Philadelphia). In 2005, Doubleday published his first book Why Gender Matters; an updated edition will be published by Harmony in 2017. His second book, Boys Adrift, was published in 2007. His third book Girls on the Edge was published in 2010. His most recent book The Collapse of Parenting was published by Basic Books in December 2015 and became a New York Times bestseller.
Dr. Sax has spoken on issues of child and adolescent development not only in the United States but also in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, Spain, and Switzerland. He has visited more than 400 schools since 2001. He has appeared on the TODAY Show, CNN, National Public Radio, Fox News, PBS, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, New Zealand Television, and many other national and international media.