Can Unions Provide What Workers Want? The case of the Queensland Health and Fitness Industry

Glenda Maconachie, Jennifer Sappey

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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    Abstract

    Sexual, social and employment success have been linked to the physical capital drawn from having aesthetic attributes of the socially idealized body. In certain workplace settings, such as health and fitness centres, the body becomes a mainstream commodity with physical capital affording the fitness worker a high degree of distinction and adoration as well as employment opportunities. The employment relationship is shaped by 'lookism', with both the employer and employee taking advantage of the fitness worker's idealized form. The worker's physical capital provides a walking billboard advertising the employer's products and services, while exposure to comparison and adoration provides a heightened sense of self-worth, distinction and celebrity for fitness workers for which they are prepared to trade-off employment conditions. In redefining what they want from work, fitness workers challenge the traditional purpose of trade unions, and question their ability to deliver what these workers want from their employment relationship.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAIRAANZ conference 2008
    Subtitle of host publicationWorkers, corporations and community: Facing choices for a sustainable future
    Place of PublicationMelbourne
    PublisherAIRAANZ/La Trobe University
    Pages284-292
    Number of pages9
    Volume1
    ISBN (Electronic)9780980476606
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventAssociation of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand Conference - Melbourne, Australia, Australia
    Duration: 06 Feb 200808 Feb 2008

    Conference

    ConferenceAssociation of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand Conference
    Country/TerritoryAustralia
    Period06/02/0808/02/08

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