The concept of ‘aesthetic labour’ is relatively new in work-life research. It focuses on how service organisations utilise the physical appearance and personality of employees to support a particular business brand. In this way, employees are used as part of a differentiation marketing strategy. Whereas much of the research in aesthetic labour focuses on how this strategy is achieved via recruitment and/or internal training, this article investigates hairdressing schools’ recruitment structures and the hidden curriculum these schools practice. Based on a case study of a Danish hairdressing school – and inspired by research on aesthetic labour as well as Pierre Bourdieu’s work on distinction, taste, and habitus – the article focuses on the role that hairdressing schools play in categorising potential hairdressers as either belonging or not belonging to the category of “a hairdresser type”.
- Uddannelse, professioner og erhverv