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Keywords:

  • migrant workers;
  • emotional labour;
  • hospitality sector;
  • intersectionality

This article responds to a call from Kerfoot and Korczynski to investigate the gendering of service sector employment. As a characteristic of many post-industrial economies in the global North is the growing significance of migrant workers, this article investigates the impact of migration for work on the gendering of service work. Taking the embodied and emotional labour of workers to be fundamental to service work, it describes how these are refracted and produced through migration. The article draws on 60 interviews with workers in a west London hotel who were born abroad and the human resources staff and managers who are responsible for the recruitment and promotion of the workforce. We argue that migration is an important process in the construction of the contemporary workforce in post-industrial service economies and that migration status should be understood as intersecting with gender in the production of a gendered performance at work.