Air Male: Exploring Flight Attendant Masculinities in North America and Thailand

Jane M. Ferguson*, Arratee Ayuttacorn

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Flight attendant work, although now referred to with gender-neutral terminology, continues to be archetypically feminine. Male flight attendants are often assumed to be gay, which frequently includes an emasculated, hyper-sexualised dimension to the stereotyped minority within the female-dominated occupation. The ways in which straight men navigate this occupation and its gendered/hypersexualised connotations problematises both the notions of a gay community as well as flight attendant work as inherently or necessarily feminine. Based on ethnography amongst flight attendants who work for two international airlines, this paper considers how notions of masculinity and heteronormativity operate in a feminised occupational role and how workplace dynamics affect gendered senses of self and relations with others, including with coworkers and in the public.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)328-343
    Number of pages16
    JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Anthropology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2019


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