Of this second group which includes call centre

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Unformatted text preview: ook The Work of Nations, former U.S. Labour secretary Robert Reich (1992) popularized the notion of two major categories of post-industrial workers, `symbolic analysts' (a knowledge-producing elite) and `in-person servers' (a larger and less privileged group servicing the needs of others). Of this second group, which includes call centre operators, Gee, Hull and Lankshear (1996: 46±47) observe that their work `tends to call primarily for reliability, loyalty . . . the capacity to take direction and . . . ``a pleasant demeanour'' '. And indeed, the issue of service workers' `demeanour' has become increasingly salient as large numbers of organizations have adopted the philosophy known as `customer care'. The idea is to make customers feel they are not merely being served but actively and individually `cared for': it is believed that this close attention to each customer's needs and feelings promotes loyalty to the company and thus enhances its `competitive advantage' in the market. For service...
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