Santa Helpers; Christmas Tradition
A Thinking Allowed special on our construction of Christmas tradition. What does Christmas mean to you - a visit to Santa's grotto with the little ones, the opening of presents before breakfast, a house festooned with sparkly lights and wreaths of ivy? Or is your Christmas an understated and low key affair? Perhaps you don't even recognise it for cultural or religious reasons.
Professor Philip Hancock discusses his study into the 'elite' squad of Santa helpers who dispense seasonal cheer and gifts to children in department stores up and down the country. How do they maintain their 'ho, ho hos' in the face of 500 length queues? What special challenges does this unique branch of interactive service work present? Also, Professor Jennifer Mason talks about her research into how people create the Christmas experience, drawing on the rituals of their childhoods and negotiating conflicting traditions. The writer, Antony Lerman, joins the discussion.
Producer: Jayne Egerton.
Professor of Work and Organisation at the University of Essex Business School
Find out more about Dr Philip Hancock
Work Employment and Society April 15, 2013
Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Morgan Centre for Study of Relationships and Personal Life, University of Manchester
Find out more about Jennifer Mason
Jennifer Mason, Stewart Muir
The Sociological Review
Volume 61, Issue 3, pages 607–629, August 2013
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