Loe’s “Working at Bazooms”: Qualitative Sociological Analysis

Summarizing

The article presents an investigation into the power of dynamics of the Bazoom Girls restaurant chain. In the beginning, the author gives the background of the research and implies how it was conducted. Then the article goes in-depth regarding the job powers, the gender roles, and the sexualization aspect that defines the work at the restaurant. There is a clear distinction between men in control by being the managers or the customers, and women, who are servers. Sexual harassment is not fairly underlined and becomes the job’s inherent element. Despite the unfavorable position of “the girls,” they possess certain means to fight the oppression (Loe, 2007, p. 345). For instance, some openly challenge managers or use gossips to influence them. Others either reject the job attributes entirely or use them to ascertain feminity. The employees also warn their colleagues about problematic customers and support each other in general. Overall, even in such a hostile environment to women, they manage to fight for their rights, although some might prefer the status quo.

The main arguments of the chapters

The first chapter, “The Bazooms Workplace Environment,” describes the restaurant as a whole and explains why women might want to work there (Loe, 2007, p. 343). The next chapter, “Job-Based Power,” gives an account of the formal and informal ways of how the managers assert their dominance (Loe, 2007, p. 344). The third chapter, “Gender.” analyzes the various ways in which the extremely feminine role restricts the servers (Loe, 2007, p. 345). The fourth chapter, “The Sexualized Workplace,” highlights sexist interactions with customers and how they affect women (Loe, 2007, p. 348). In the last chapter, the means to fight the oppression from the male authority are provided and said to be effective.

From what aspects does the author make the arguments?

The author makes the arguments from the gender inequality aspect.

Which theoretical concepts are being?

The Weberian group conflict is used, as there is a social confrontation between two unequal groups (men and women).

What ideas do the readings have in common?

The readings reflect unorthodox ways to conduct sociological analysis, some of which might be unethical, as in this article.

What evidence does the author use to support her arguments?

The author uses her experience and the accounts of other restaurant workers, as well as previous studies on the matter, which do make the evidence convincing.

What research methods were employed?

The author used interviewing, immersion, and direct observation as her main methods.

Reference

Loe, M. (2007). Working at Bazooms: The intersection of power, gender, and sexuality. Mapping the Social Landscape: Readings in Sociology, 65(2), 342-358.

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