Apparel at Work: Work Uniforms and Women in Male-dominated Manual Occupations

Mari Bjerck

Research output: Book/ReportPhD thesis

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This dissertation is concerned with work uniforms for women in male-dominated manual occupations. As such, it has analysed parts of the gender-segregated labour market in light of material conditions that dress workers every day. This has been done on the background of a research and development project called Uni-Form funded by the Research Council of Norway. The dissertation presents findings from ethnographic fieldwork in six male-dominated occupations; construction, skilled manual work, industrial production, off- and onshore gas and oil production, industrial fishing and the Navy. It also analyses the project Uni-Form’s product development process and seeks to show how work research can benefit from employing more materiality-based studies. Work clothes and uniforms for women in male-dominated occupations have come in the form of men’s clothes or feminized copies of men's clothes where form and aesthetics have been adapted to the female body and female dress standards. There are several problematic aspects of work clothes and gender that points to premises of standardisation, which do not promote inclusion and recruitment or contribute to retaining women in the gender-segregated labour market. Research on workwear, uniforms and uniform dressing in general have largely documented that women dressing in uniform workwear are problematic in practical, functional and socialsymbolic terms, but it has not contributed with a larger study or shown how this can be solved in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School [Phd]
Number of pages216
ISBN (Print)9788793483743
ISBN (Electronic)9788793483750
Publication statusPublished - 2017
SeriesPhD series

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