Digital Literacies

Researching New Literacies, Learning and Everyday Life

Facework, Hair work, Cut & Paste

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I am looking forward to having my haircut next week … by one of the hairdressers involved in my research project. It will be quite interesting and different – having your haircut is an intimate thing. You have your hair and head rubbed, and combed and pruned, and crimped and it is all very PROXIMAL. I don’t think I have read any articles before which involve having your haircut by one of the research participants.

So that’s cool.

I am thinking about a number of things in the project …. about the way in which the young women immerse themselves not just in a lot of work where they groom themselves in particular ways to fit a very definite hetero-normative style; they also do the same for other women in a serving type capacity. There are lots of photos in their Facebooks which show them posing in ways that have a postural intertextuality – imitative of styles like Beyonce poses; Kylie stuff even; Britney Spears I can see in the styling. But also they have photos of themselves in prom dresses and sitting in stretch limos. These are all images that can be indexed in global ways. Yet there is also something very LOCAL in the photos … the homey ones show them in English pubs; with very English looking boys who have rottweilers on leads; who are in pubs and clubs that have a very local feel. There seems to be a continuum in their lives that they move across and through and this is all displayed in Facebooks in ways that do not acknowledge the different worlds they operate in.

Often their chat online os very girlish; they talk about their Mums and Dads and they present as daughters, as hairdressers and also as sexual beings. They also adopt language that is quite male at times – positioning women in often sexualised and even brutal ways.

Written by DrJoolz

November 11th, 2011 at 9:49 pm

2 Responses to 'Facework, Hair work, Cut & Paste'

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  1. This is very helpful. I thought alot about the concept of the everyday aesthetic of having your hair done and also about the way in which the hair dressing experience is both global (you could end up looking like Barbie) but also local (you tend to end up talking about your local stuff but also where you go on holiday
    also it is personal identity work.
    It is so important

    Kate Pahl

    17 Nov 11 at 3:13 pm

  2. Agree the aesthetic is important. There is also stuff about hairdressing being the idel job for women. They can be consumers and producers of the fashion and beauty stuff; also it is a way of moving into work through a leisure activity. The work is ideal as it can be full time, part time; mobile; self employed; employed or a kind of hybrid where you rent a chair. It also means you can chat all day. I think its GREAT.


    26 Nov 11 at 1:36 pm

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