Untitled: women's work

Digital or visual media

Akinleye, A., Barry Lewis and Emil Charlaff 2014. Untitled: women's work.
Title of workUntitled: women's work
CreatorsAkinleye, A., Barry Lewis and Emil Charlaff

While there is a plethora of scholarship on all aspects of labor and policy conversations about employment are ubiquitous especially during election years, the lived experience of working in all its complexities is difficult to capture. Yet, the immense popularity and staying power of such books as Studs Terkel’s Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day (1974)) and Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickle and Dimed: On getting By in America (2001) underscores that there is an audience and need for narratives about particular individual experiences of work -- precisely the type of fine grained detail that often gets left out of academic and policy debates. This type of aggregation of experiences can be especially problematic when discussing jobs held or sought by low income women.
The work presented in this film, Untitled: Women’s Work is an interdisciplinary, multimedia work of scholarly art. It is dance-based research into the lived experience of seven senior women living, working and retiring in the Flint area.
Research methodology uses ethnography and narrative inquiry as well as dance and film. This is in order to construct a methodological framework that sets out to see the lived experience as a fully embodied, aesthetic experience, placing the body as central to meaning making. This is somatic centrality, engaging with the ‘lived body’ (Sheets-Johnstone 1984 p.133 ) the lived experience of working. Dance requires concentration of the whole person as a ‘minded body’ (Fraleigh 1987 p.9 ). This research and documenting film are attempts to take the body seriously when we talk about women’s work and what makes a ‘good’ job.
Coming from our embodied approach the research data highlighted two themes: Relationships & Rhythms
The films presents some data data, the voices of participants, I then explore the two emerging themes the relationships between Self and work institution and then the rhythms of Self in the situation of being a worker. I close by suggesting that a ‘good; job is one where one is free to develop meaningful relationships across ones life and also have the ability to maintain ones own life balance rhythm.

Research GroupDiversity and Gender group
Employment Relations group
Centre for Education Research and Scholarship (CERS)
Dance group
Work and Learning Research Centre
Publication process dates
Deposited06 Oct 2015
Completed16 May 2014
Output statusPublished
Media typeVideo
Permalink -


  • 13
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as