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No Human Resource is an Island: Gendered, Racialized Access to Work as a Performer

Deborah Dean

Gender, Work & Organization Vol. 15, Issue 2, 161-181


This article explores the reproduction of gendered, racialized conceptions of age and appearance in structuring access to performing work. Analysis of this issue leads to discussion of a key supposition: that central work experiences of women performers are manifestations of their position as formal and informal proxies for women's experiences in wider society. Women performers are formal proxies in that they are employed to 'be women'; to represent women for consumption in the circuit of culture. They are informal proxies in that they are allocated to highly segmented labour markets based on wider patterns of gendered, racialized social relations.