Experiencing class differences

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Approval Date: 2010

Thesis Language: English

Student: Derya Koptekin



This thesis aims to examine the class experiences of workers who work in food retail stores in Ankara. In this respect, it focuses on the structure of food retailing as interactive service work, working conditions of workers, stratification, fragmentation and unionization of workers in stores. In addition, it examines how workers experience class as a matter of self-esteem in their workplaces, how they cope with discourtesy of costumers, how they classify costumers and whether they develop a sense of deprivation if it is taken into consideration that they work in a consumption area. It is also analyzed gender and family relations of store workers, and their future hopes and unfulfilled dreams. The study argues that stores with their workers, their managers and their diverse costumers profiles are significant places so as to observe how class differences are continuously reconstructed in everyday life through work and consumption practices. In regard to these issues, the field research of the thesis was employed through semi-structured in-depth interviews with 37 store workers who deal directly with customers and works in various food retail stores in Ankara.