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Ladies on the Lot

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction Part 3 Behind The Scenes Chapter 4 En Route to Selling Chapter 5 Green Pea Counters, Country Clubs, and "Girly" Stores: The Politics of Dealership Location Chapter 6 Life on the Floor Part 7 On the Lot Chapter 8 Pinches, Pats, and Pokes: Negotiating the Hostile Environment of the Sales Floor Chapter 9 Toughened Up: Everyday Life On the Floor Part 10 Off the Lot Chapter 11 On and Off the Floor: Finding a Balance Chapter 12 Having What it Takes: Who Leaves, Who Stays, and the Potential for Building Successful Careers Chapter 13 Conclusion: The Sum of Opportunity for Women Car Sales Agents Chapter 14 Epilogue: On the Road Chapter 15 Appendix: Fieldwork

About the Author

Helene M. Lawson is professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.


Lawson's Ladies on the Lot is an example of the finest work being done in qualitative social science today. Her interviews and fieldwork succeed in making these women come alive as they tell us their stories and draw us into their lives of struggles and dreams. This is a wonderful book to teach with, for it shows us how culture, class, and gender are played out in the lives of ordinary people and what it costs women to pursue their dreams of making it in America today. This study is a rare and insightful look at many of the changes that came upon American women and men in the decade 1988 to 1999! -- E. Doyle McCarthy, Fordham University Should be of interest to students of gender and work, as well as anyone who has experienced the arduous task of buying a new car. Sociological Abstracts Helene Lawson has provided a richly detailed, fascinating look at women who work in car sales. She astutely reveals an interesting new world to the reader. This work makes a major contribution to the study of women in non-traditional occupations. Gender & Society Contributing to the growing literature on how women cross the gender divide and struggle for survival in traditional male trades, this occupational study offers insights into the ordeals women sales agents encounter on the automobile lots across America. Lawson's typologies are rich and descriptive, probing many different facets of women's car sales careers, including navigating the selling floor, relating with colleagues and customers, and negotiating the contract. Anyone who has ever experienced the onerous task of purchasing a car will be enlightened by this behind-the-scenes account of the process. Students of gender and work and occupations will find it a delightful read. -- Patricia A. Adler, University of Colorado

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