Accepted Paper:

Boundaries of work: working for second-home owners in Poland  


Amanda Krzyworzeka (University of Warsaw)

Paper short abstract:

The aim of this paper is to present relations between second home owners and local inhabitants in Poland. The mixture of friendship and business relations makes it very difficult to establish a stable relation, putting clear boundaries between work and non-work and requires a lot of social skills.

Paper long abstract:

In my paper I would like to focus on a problem with establishing what is work and what is non-work. On a basis of my fieldwork in Polish Mazovia region I'll focus on situations of hiring a local worker by a second home owner to do some job around the house (painting, taking care of a house when owners are far etc.). Such tasks are treated differently by both sides, locals are often claiming it's not a real job and rejecting it (here I'll focus on local idea of work).

On the other hand, there are many examples of interesting owner-local inhabitant relationship. They are friends (sometimes it goes from one generation to another among the family), helping each other, sharing the deepest secrets of private life, but at the same time one of them hires the other and pays them with money, which complicates the situation a lot (cf. F. Pine). As a result, such a situation requires a lot of specific skills to deal with it, e.g. the moment of giving/taking money or establishing the price is to be camouflaged by actions like drinking alcohol together, chatting etc. Another aspect of such a relationship is power - and it is not obvious who is the powerful party here. Thus it is a skillful action to balance such a relation so that it doesn't become either a totally business-like or totally friendship-like. It is intentionally placed between work and non-work and people try hard to keep it so.

Panel P051
Works that matter (not): valuing productivity through and against the market