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Hospitality workers and the relational spaces of labor (im)mobility

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Author list: Zampoukos, Kristina
Publication year: 2017
Start page: 1
End page: 18
Number of pages: 18
ISSN: 1461-6688

Abstract

Building on the recent interest among labor geographers for workers’ ability to strategize around their mobility, and tourism researchers’ longstanding examination of mobile tourism workers, this paper explores the mobility agency of differently positioned hospitality workers. The findings suggest that workers are not always ‘strategic’ in relation to labor mobility, and that labor mobility and career paths must be recognized as fragmented, happenstance and erratic. Furthermore, this article argues for an approach to the study of mobile tourism workers that takes the relational as well as temporal aspects into account. This endeavor is in particular guided by the notion of stories-so-far and the understanding of people as both being and becoming. The empirical basis of this paper consists of 22 interviews with hospitality workers in four hotel workplaces in Sweden; the luxury city hotel, the suburban chain hotel, the city chain hotel and the seasonal hotel. Ultimately, I suggest that the multifaceted complex of considerations which workers negotiate, could be conceptualized as the relational spaces of labor (im)mobility.


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