The Work of Cabin Crew : The Relation between Work and Family (or personal) Life and the Working Conditions

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Diane-Gabrielle TREMBLAY, Téluq, Crises, Canada
Our communication is based on our research carried out in the aviation sector (civil aviation), with the largest or most well-known airlines in Europe (France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Spain) and Canada (with scheduled, charter, low cost flights). It focuses on the work of the Cabin Crew (flight attendant, steward, chief of cabin). We advance scientific knowledge of the work of the Cabin Crew, which develops in specific types of organizations and working conditions, with important safety rules and particular constraints (sometimes in “extreme context”): atypical working hours (night shift, staggered working hours) and jet-lag, work / life balance, material, physical and technical conditions of work, turnover of short-lived crews, etc. Moreover, the activities take place in a national and international context increasingly subject to stress, crises and risks (political and military insecurity in some countries, diseases in certain countries, terrorism, etc.). In this communication, we will focus on the relation between work and family (or personal) life, which is important for understanding how working conditions and their recent degradation are experienced.

Our research is in the field of sociology of work and organizations as well as of the sociology of professions. Our communication is based on some 80 qualitative interviews (between 1h30 and 3h each) conducted with Cabin crew from large legacy and low cost companies. As a backdrop for comparison, we might use some elements from the over 1400 responses to a questionnaire distributed to the cabin crew in these same companies but also in many more throughout Europe, as well as some elements from direct observations of the work of cabin crew. Therefore, the research investigates working situations, professional realities of the flight crew.