My new publication…on hiding places at work!

One of the spaces to 'escape to' in the salon - the towel cupboard.

One of the spaces to ‘escape to’ in the salon – the towel cupboard.

It’s been four months still I last blogged – with a busy summer at conferences and a hectic start to the new term at University, I’m not quite sure where the time has gone! So, a new term and a new post; I’m pleased to say that I’ve just had my paper on liminal spaces at work published in Human Relations (ABS 4*)! I’m really proud of this paper – it’s one of those ones that has taken a while to emerge…but it has all been worth it. It’s based on one of the key findings from my PhD research that explored the everyday lives of hairdressers working in hair salons and their experiences of their physical work space.

This paper, specifically, is about the spaces ‘in-between’ and employees’ lived experiences of liminal spaces at work. It illustrates how and why liminal spaces are used and made meaningful by workers, in contrast to the dominant spaces that surround them. It argues that when liminal spaces are constructed, by workers, as vital and meaningful to their everyday lives they cease to be liminal spaces and instead become ‘transitory dwelling places’. As I say, the article is based on empirical data gathered from a nine-month study of hairdressers and explores the function and meaning of liminal spaces used by hairdressers in their everyday lives. These data show how liminal spaces are made meaningful by workers for privacy (finding hiding spaces at work!), for informal territories (for hanging out with friends) and for inspiration (for creative conversations).

I attach a link here to the paper – enjoy!

Human Relations Harriet Shortt Liminal Space Paper.full