642.1 Practices of time and space in hairdressers in Frankfurt, Birmingham, Dortmund and Glasgow

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 9:00 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Martina LOEW , Institut für Soziologie, Technische Universität Darmstadt, 64283 Darmstadt, Germany
Florian STOLL , Institut für Soziologie, Technische Universität Darmstadt, 64283 Darmstadt, Germany
This paper presents results of the research project Local Conventions of Hairdressers: The Intrinsic Logic of Cities in Economic Practices funded by the German Research Foundation.

Our project combines a Mixed Methodology with a theoretical frame from Urban Sociology and Economic Sociology to explore differences in the practices of hairdressers in Frankfurt, Birmingham, Dortmund and Glasgow. In each city we conducted ethnographic research and did interviews in two types of hairdressers: One salon serves mainly customers from the upper middle class, whereas the second salon mainly has customers with a working class background from the local neighbourhood.

Hairdressers have a low economic and symbolic position in the social structure. The majority of the employees are women. Maybe the low symbolic position and the gender aspect are the reasons why there has been few research on hairdressers in Sociology yet.

Our paper focuses on the question how spatial practices and the use of time are connected to maintain the organization of hairdresser. Through the combined research of space and time we aim to discover important aspects which an one-dimensional analysis could not find.

The theoretical background of the paper is a Sociology of Space (Löw 2008) and Time which considers both dimensions as relational practices and structures and not as absolute entities. By adapting concepts of Bourdieu and Giddens the project considers time and space as results of certain social conditions and actions.

So differences in the spatial and time related practices can give new insights in the impacts of a specific city on the hairdressers as an example for other economic branches. Second the ethnographic research contributes to the understanding of socioeconomic practices of hairdressers in different types of salons. Third the analysis can even show the relation of time and space with the symbolic positions of the hairdressers.