Self-employment in the beauty industry as a social phenomenon

Tyumen State University Herald. Social, Economic, and Law Research


2020, Vol. 6. № 4 (24)

Self-employment in the beauty industry as a social phenomenon

For citation: Kicherova M. N., Labzova N. V. 2020. “Self-employment in the beauty industry as a social phenomenon”. Tyumen State University Herald. Social, Economic, and Law Research, vol. 6, no. 4 (24), pp. 110-131. DOI: 10.21684/2411-7897-2020-6-4-110-131

About the authors:

Marina N. Kicherova, Cand. Sci. (Soc.), Associate Professor, Department of General and Economic Sociology, University of Tyumen;, ORCID: 0000-0001-5829-7570

Nadezhda V. Labzova, Student of Sociology, University of Tyumen;


The self-employed, as a social and professional group, are distinguished by instability, uncertainty of social positions, and precarization, which determines the relevance of this topic. The purpose of this article lies in identifying the characteristics of the self-employed in the beauty industry, to draw up their social portrait. The paper presents an analysis of theoretical approaches to the study of self-employment, cross-country comparative analysis of the regulation of self-employment of the population, discloses social and legal aspects, identifies the industry specificity of self-employment in the beauty industry.

In the course of empirical research, which was implemented using quantitative (questionnaire survey, N = 112) and qualitative methods (in-depth semi-structured interview, 12 informants), the authors have identified the labor values of self-employed in the beauty industry, the range of services provided, characteristics and conditions of work, and the strategies for promoting the labor market.

The study has shown that self-employed work alone, without involving any help from other people; they receive income from personal labor activity and are relatively free in choosing a place of work. Most of the self-employed in the beauty industry work in the informal sector, without registration, which carries risks and social costs for its participants. Based on the results, a social portrait of self-employed in the beauty industry was compiled: these are mainly women aged 18 to 36 years, who provide nail service, hairdressing, eyelash extension, massage, and tattooing. The authors have identified the methods of registration of their activities, the main mechanisms for the formation of a client base, platforms for finding clients, the intensity of work, channels for obtaining professional skills, and features of the organization of the working space.

The results show that the regional program “Self-Employment”, aimed at lowering the tax rate and providing material assistance, is not popular among the self-employed in the beauty industry working in Tyumen.

In the conclusion, the authors have identified advantages and limitations of self-employment, as well as the main risks. In addition, this article proposes recommendations for regional authorities that contribute to the development of self-employment in the beauty industry and the legitimation of labor relations of this social and professional group.


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