Study of Young Cooks’Labor Experiences: How Is the Combination of Apprenticeship and Creative Labor Associated with Exploitation?

Monday, 16 July 2018: 10:42
Oral Presentation
Soo-Yeon MOON, Chung-Ang University, Korea, Republic of (South)
Myung-ah SON, Seoul national university, Republic of Korea
Rira SONG, Chung-Ang University, Republic of Korea
This study investigates the labor of apprentice of young cooks, focusing on the labor process and perception of work by young cooks in Seoul, Korea. With in-depth interview of 20 young cooks working at restaurants aged from 19 to 34, this study identifies the nature of cooking labor showing both the nature of manual labor and creative labor. This study reports that most interviewees experience an absence of labor rights under the time and space pressure, such as long working hours, high level of labor intensity, lack of break and low wages. To develop new cooking skills, they endure a poor employment practice in between ‘labor' and ‘learning. Otherwise, they have to change their workplaces frequently. The poor working conditions cause their physical damage and mental burnout, generating exit from the labor market or moving to self-employment. An understanding for young cooks reveals how exploitation takes place and it is justified by the combination of an apprenticeship and cooking as creative work.