This edited book has emerged from a CRESC1 (Centre for Research on Socio- Cultural Change) workshop held in Manchester in February 2008, which provided a forum to debate ‘Gender, Service Work and the Cultural Economy’. The aim of this collection, based largely on contributions from the workshop, is to explore the social and cultural issues within the economic changes that have given rise to service work, which represents the largest occupational sector (ILO 2008). This sector is often polarized between higher- paid ICT- enabled ‘knowledge work’ and lower- paid catering, cleaning and care work. In order to gain a broad appreciation of
working lives, we adopt an inclusive approach with chapters covering a variety of types of service work. Written by specialists in their respective fields, this book draws together authors from interdisciplinary areas that are carrying out significant research into the totality of women’s working lives and studying varying combinations of gender and service work within an international context. Authors originate from a range of disciplinary backgrounds including sociology, anthropology, critical management,
industrial relations, economics, geography, gender studies, and science and technology studies. Accordingly, the analysis being presented is accompanied by diverse illustrations, such as IT workers in Mumbai, lone parents undergoing CISCO network engineer training in London, financial and retail service workers in Europe, Indian nurses working for the UK NHS, a historical study of female telegraphers, and call centre
staff employed to service the emerging domestic market in India.