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With a little help from my friends : relational work in leisure-related enterprising

Andersson Cederholm, Erika LU and Åkerström, Malin LU (2016) In The Sociological Review
Abstract
The present article analyses the indistinct boundaries between formal and informal economic exchanges, with a focus on friendship and work relations. To illustrate these intersections, we present a study of Swedish lifestyle entrepreneurs who run small-scale horse-related enterprises. The specific characteristics of this form of business—in which the horse farm owners/operators, customers, employees, and voluntary workers share a leisure interest in horses and participate in the everyday work on the farm—provide the foundation for a work environment where personal favour exchanges and a gift economy are intertwined with a monetary economy. Drawing on Viviana Zelizer’s notion of ‘relational work,’ the present analysis focuses on how... (More)
The present article analyses the indistinct boundaries between formal and informal economic exchanges, with a focus on friendship and work relations. To illustrate these intersections, we present a study of Swedish lifestyle entrepreneurs who run small-scale horse-related enterprises. The specific characteristics of this form of business—in which the horse farm owners/operators, customers, employees, and voluntary workers share a leisure interest in horses and participate in the everyday work on the farm—provide the foundation for a work environment where personal favour exchanges and a gift economy are intertwined with a monetary economy. Drawing on Viviana Zelizer’s notion of ‘relational work,’ the present analysis focuses on how relationships, transactions, and forms of repayments are constantly negotiated along a continuum between work-oriented friendship and friendly work relations. The empirical illustrations demonstrate the limitations of the notion of boundary work often employed in studies of relational work—which emphasizes boundary definition. In contrast, it seems that relational work may also involve practices that intentionally maintain indistinct boundaries between different types of relationships, thus sustaining tension between a formal and informal economy. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
relational work, informal economy, gift economy, friendship, leisure
in
The Sociological Review
publisher
J Wiley
ISSN
1467-954X
DOI
10.1111/1467-954X.12377
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c28ff9d1-3603-4ddd-80b4-e79fc1322d02
date added to LUP
2016-05-03 13:37:35
date last changed
2016-05-17 20:35:30
@misc{c28ff9d1-3603-4ddd-80b4-e79fc1322d02,
  abstract     = {The present article analyses the indistinct boundaries between formal and informal economic exchanges, with a focus on friendship and work relations. To illustrate these intersections, we present a study of Swedish lifestyle entrepreneurs who run small-scale horse-related enterprises. The specific characteristics of this form of business—in which the horse farm owners/operators, customers, employees, and voluntary workers share a leisure interest in horses and participate in the everyday work on the farm—provide the foundation for a work environment where personal favour exchanges and a gift economy are intertwined with a monetary economy. Drawing on Viviana Zelizer’s notion of ‘relational work,’ the present analysis focuses on how relationships, transactions, and forms of repayments are constantly negotiated along a continuum between work-oriented friendship and friendly work relations. The empirical illustrations demonstrate the limitations of the notion of boundary work often employed in studies of relational work—which emphasizes boundary definition. In contrast, it seems that relational work may also involve practices that intentionally maintain indistinct boundaries between different types of relationships, thus sustaining tension between a formal and informal economy. },
  author       = {Andersson Cederholm, Erika and Åkerström, Malin},
  issn         = {1467-954X},
  keyword      = {relational work,informal economy,gift economy,friendship,leisure},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x8d07430)},
  series       = {The Sociological Review},
  title        = {With a little help from my friends : relational work in leisure-related enterprising},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-954X.12377},
  year         = {2016},
}