Sharma, U. and Black, P., 2001, 'Look good, feel better: beauty therapy as emotional labour', Sociology, 35(4). pp. 913–31.
How the study was conducted In addition to this fieldwork we studied the literature and journals disseminated by professional organisations catering for beauty therapists and interviewed some of their officials. The fifteen beauty therapists whom we interviewed came from diverse backgrounds, being divided roughly equally between those who came from working class and those who came from professional backgrounds. Possibly beauty therapy is – as secretarial work used to be – a kind of 'feminine' work seen as a realistic aspiration for the working-class girl yet not infra dig for the middle-class girl. All except one of our interviewees was white, although the students in Northern College were ethnically diverse. In the absence of relevant information about the trade as a whole we cannot say how far our interviewees were representative of beauty therapists.