We are inviting submissions for an upcoming special issue of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion on “(In)equalities in Hospitality & Tourism – Exploring Diversity and Equity Issues”.
One of the 17 United Nations’ vision for 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to reduce inequalities among vulnerable communities and populations (United Nations, 2020). The hospitality and tourism (H&T) industry employs a disproportionate number of part-time, temporary, or seasonal work who are vulnerable on account of job insecurity and exploitation. Very often the work requires little or no formal training and involves precarious working conditions, such as low wages, long and disagreeable working times, and high work pressure. Additionally, the H&T industry attracts mainly young people, migrants, and women, the latter representing 60 – 70% of the global H&T workforce (ILO, 2014, 2017; UNWTO & ILO, 2014).
Service work typically requires emotional (Hochschild, 1983) and aesthetic (Warhurst and Nickson, 2020; Warhurst et al., 2000; Witz et al., 2003) labour. Employees are expected to manage and modify their emotions to elicit a sense of well-being from customers (Hochschild, 1983) and to “look good or sound right” (Warhurst and Nickson, 2009, p. 388). Relatedly, interactive services provide a stage for social positioning and “class acts” (Sherman, 2007). This is especially pronounced in high-end services such as in luxury hotels where both employees and customers are engaged in ‘doing class’ and normalizing class inequalities.
Moreover, Hochschild (1983) points out that service work is regularly associated with abilities that only women are seen to possess. The (re)production of gender-based assumptions and values through language (Myrden et al., 2011) or corporate image-making (Mills, 1995) shape how employees see themselves and others and can lead to gender discrimination in everyday life in organizations. In a study of a luxury hotel in China, Otis (2016) draws our attention to worker’s training to suit the “gendered cultural worlds of their customers” (p. 917), where femininity is regarded as a resource for the firm (Acker, 2004).
Exploring inequalities in H&T may mean a view on such gendered practices or substructures, subtexts, and logics that (re)produce gender divisions. It also encompasses intersectionality and multiple dimensions of discrimination – inequality regimes based on e.g., race and class (Acker, 2012) and up to all kinds of work that examines “systematic workplace disparities in the control and power of organizational goals, processes, resources, and outcomes” (Rodriguez et al. 2016, p. 202). The employment situations in the H&T industry may foster social inequalities in daily labours across multiple socio-structural categories such as gender, age, ethnicity, class, body, physical appearance, sexual orientation and (re)produce power relations that are marked by heteronormativisms, ageisms, classisms, racisms, or bodyisms. What does that imply for work and employment in the H&T industry, for individuals, and for the communities that host them?
Moreover, in these challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic international tourist arrivals are anticipated to decrease to 70% in 2020, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer (UNWTO, 2020). How do adverse events, e.g., pandemic or the climate catastrophe affect countries?
In this special issue, we would like to stimulate the exchange of high-quality research that addresses (in)equalities faced by workers in the H&T industry. Both empirical (diverse methodologies) and conceptual contributions, including review pieces, from various countries, organizational settings, disciplines, and research perspectives are welcome. Potential themes and questions include, but are not limited to:
• Employability norms and working conditions
• Visibility of back-office and front-line service workers
• Challenges of men and women in non-traditional work roles
• Bodily practices serving the company’s commercial purposes
• (Re)production and intersections of power relations such as heteronormativisms, racisms, bodyisms etc.
• Structural challenges and seasonal fluctuations in employment and income level
• Government policy positions with respect to the integration of migrant workers into the host society
We also encourage papers that highlight novel and innovative methodologies in exploring issues of diversity and equity in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Manuscripts should be submitted online by September, 30th 2021 and should follow the Submission Guidelines available on the journal’s page. Please note that all submissions will be subject to the standard EDI double-blind review process.
Please submit via the ScholarOne link: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/edi
Select Special issue and submit under the title “(In)equalities in Hospitality & Tourism – Exploring Diversity and Equity Issues”.
Submissions will open on September, 1st 2021. For questions regarding this special issue, please contact any of the Guest Editors at the email addresses above.