Hospitality work as socialisation into working life for young people

Rydzik, Agnieszka and Korpela, Laura-Maria (2016) Hospitality work as socialisation into working life for young people. In: Critical Hospitality Studies Symposium, 28-29th July 2016, Edinburgh Napier University.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


Hospitality work is an attractive employment option for students, enabling them to combine full-time study with part-time work. Indeed, due to their flexibility, hospitality workplaces are characterised by high youth employment and employ large numbers of full-time students (People 1st, 2013; Walmsley, 2016).

For young people, work is important for their transition into adulthood and can be fundamental for the formation of career identities, attitudes and intentions (Walmsley, 2016). Surprisingly, to date, little is known about the employment experiences of full-time students in part-time hospitality work, how these impact on the formation of their work identities and their perception of working lives, and what are the key challenges they face (Walmsley, 2016). Young people are considered at greater risk of vulnerability and violence at work (Hoel & Einarsen, 2003; Jayaweera & Anderson, 2008), are more likely to receive lower wages and tend to be less aware of their entitlements (TUC, 2008). Yet, their working lives are significantly under-explored.

By taking the worker perspective and examining employment experiences of students working part-time in hospitality, this paper addresses some of these gaps. It presents the preliminary findings from a collaborative and participatory research-based learning project with a group of undergraduate tourism students through which over 40 semi-structured interviews were conducted with full-time students working part-time in hospitality.

This paper explores the proposition that for young people their early employment experiences in hospitality acts as a socialisation space, shaping their expectations, influencing their occupational identities and initiating them to the world of work. It attempts to address these questions: (1) How are young people initiated into work through their part-time employment in hospitality? (2) How hospitable are these environments to full-time students in part-time employment? (3) How flexible are they in reality for student part-time workers? (4) How do these working environments shape young people and what vision of the society do they offer? Of interest here is exploring the experiences of young workers in the industry and the potential impact of these on their future working lives.

Keywords:hospitality work, flexible work, youth employment
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:24105
Deposited On:16 Sep 2016 09:23

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