Front of the House, Back of the House

Dining out this holiday weekend? Take a look at the dynamics, interactions, and inequalities of the restaurant world

Front of the House, Back of the House: Race and Inequality in the Lives of Restaurant Workers

Wilson, Eli Revelle Yano. New York University, 2020
240p bibl index, 9781479800612 $89.00, 9781479800629 $28.00, 9781479800667

This ethnographic analysis of restaurant work brilliantly highlights the micro-interactions and hierarchies in between and within the front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house restaurant jobs, which produce and reinforce systemic racial inequalities. Using his keen lens of participant observation and his powerful writing style, Wilson (Univ. of New Mexico) takes readers into the world of high-end dining in Los Angeles. He shares the often-unnoticed, taken-for-granted ways that managers, customers, and even workers themselves sort workers into different and unequal jobs rooted in systems of inequality and socially coded expectations that advantage some and disadvantage others. This book is a must read for students and scholars who are interested in the racialized coding of labor in US workplaces, and will be a seminal text for both the sociology of work and ethnographic studies.

Summing Up: Essential. All levels.
M. Gatta, CUNY-Guttman
Interdisciplinary Subjects: Latin American & Latina/o Studies
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Sociology
Choice Issue: Sep 2021

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