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Gratuity : A Contextual Understanding of Tipping Norms from the Perspective of Tipped Employees (Hardcover)

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"Gratuity is an important contribution to our understanding of the dynamics of tipping in a wide array of occupations. Not only does tipping shape workers' experiences in different ways, but it also reveals a great deal about the role of norms and management practices in economic transactions. A unique and insightful book."-Ronald Weitzer, George Washington Universitiy

"This book is a comprehensive, thoroughly researched, and engaging account of tipping in the United States. Beautifully written and clearly organized, [Gratuity relates] interesting stories of the practice from the diverse perspectives of those who receive tips and the distinct contexts in which they work. In occupations ranging from restaurant servers in chains and upscale dining facilities to household services and parking attendants, the workers share their attitudes toward their jobs, management, and customers, reflecting on the role of gratuities in their work life."-Laura Katz Olson, Lehigh University

"Who do we tip and why do we tip? What does it mean to work for tips? From food servers to housekeepers, animal tenders, musicians, ushers, repair people, and more, the authors use...interviews with tipped employees to explore what might be considered a growing trend: the giving and receiving of tips. Both controversial and emotional, tipping rituals defy rational economic models of behavior. That is what makes tipping such an interesting cultural phenomenon and Seltzer and Ochs's book a worthwhile read."-Eleanor LaPointe, Rutgers University

Gratuity is based on interviews with more than 400 people in numerous occupations. The respondents from across the United States reflect the diversity of the population but have one thing in common: they earn tips. A tip is a price set almost entirely by a customer, less connected to demand than to social code. In the United States, tipping remains one of our most controversial, confusing, and highly variable norms. In their own words, respondents present their perspectives on their compensation and their jobs. Understanding people's conceptions of tipping and the viewpoints of tipped employees sheds light on tipping norms that have never been addressed. This study indicates that tips do not increase in accordance with or alleviate the discomfort of inequality from the perspective of the employee when they are given to demonstrate status over another. Tips can, in some cases, serve a redistributive function, but they are not consistent with regard to social status. This study also indicates that tips are a poor measure of quality and employee performance. People conform to tipping norms for social and emotional, rather than strictly rational, reasons. Furthermore, conformity to tipping norms is inconsistent across work contexts. One of the principal mechanisms for fostering conformity lies within the organizational hierarchy, and management plays a crucial role as well.


Publisher Lexington Books
Mfg Part# 9780739144220
SKU 214983720
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0739144227
Release Date 7/1/2010
Product Attributes
eBooks Kobo
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0277
Publisher Lexington Books
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