Dennett, Adam, Cameron, Derek, Jenkins, Andrew Kevin and Bamford, Colin (2010) The social identity of waiters onboard UK cruise ships: ‘Quasiprofessionals’ forming occupational communities. In: 19th CHME Annual Hospitality Research Conference, 5-7 May 2010, University of Surrey. (Unpublished)
Abstract

This work-in-progress paper sets out to explore the existence of waiters forming occupational communities onboard cruise ships which operates in the UK industry.

Despite the increasing importance of the cruise industry worldwide, academic enquiry is recent and very little is known about the lives of cruise ship employees (e.g., Gibson, 2008; Van Broeck, 2010). Rapid industrial expansion and demand have put a strain on human resources, echoing the challenge of acquiring and retaining quality talent (Raub & Streit, 2006). In a competitive market and in an industry known for a strong service culture, cruise ship labour is central for business operations and success. Given a high degree of social control and a life dominated by their specialisation, seafarers have little opportunities outside of their occupation (Lukas, 2010).

A research proposition therefore would be to examine the relationship between occupational specialisation and community in the cruise industry. Exploring the concept of occupational communities, while linking the theories of social identity and self-categorization will provide a more fully integrated view of the self and present new insights in understanding the 21stC hospitality worker.

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