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  The Temporal Structures of the Economy: The Working Day of Taxi Drivers in Warsaw

Serafin, M. (2015). The Temporal Structures of the Economy: The Working Day of Taxi Drivers in Warsaw. PhD Thesis, University of Cologne, Cologne. doi:10.17617/2.2218692.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-D646-A Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-982F-A
Genre: Thesis

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 Creators:
Serafin, Marcin1, Author              
Affiliations:
1International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society, ou_1214550              

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Free keywords: Time; Economic Sociology; Taxi markets; Behavioural economics
 Abstract: Why do taxi drivers work when they work? Unlike those in many other occupations, taxi drivers do not have fixed working hours. This raises the question of what influences their working time. Based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative research conducted in Warsaw between November 2012 and June 2013, this dissertation argues that the working time of Warsaw taxi drivers is anchored in four “temporal structures”: earning time, waiting time, political time and domestic time. First, taxi drivers’ working time is dependent on the demand for their service, which structures their earning time. I argue that, since taxi drivers are coordinating agencies, their earning time is dependent on multiple superior coordination agencies that make up the multi-layered temporal architecture of Warsaw. Such agencies include the religious calendar and the state calendar. Second, taxi drivers’ working time is shaped by a temporal structure of waiting time. I trace the origin of this structure, showing how waiting time is linked to the emergence of capitalism in Poland in 1989. However, while the introduction of capitalism created the structural conditions for waiting time, I argue that waiting time is reproduced every day as taxi drivers have to cope with the uncertainty of demand for their service. Third, taxi drivers’ working time is anchored in political time since they try collectively to improve their working conditions through voice. I distinguish between different forms of voice, showing how and why the political actions of taxi drivers have been largely unsuccessful. Finally, taxi drivers work when they work because of a temporal structure of domestic time. Taxi drivers’ working time is shaped by the temporal order of their family life, which is often in conflict with the rhythm of the market. I describe how the gendered nature of domestic time, characterized by an unequal division of household labour, enables male taxi drivers to work long hours. By providing an explanation for taxi drivers’ working time, which highlights the temporal dimension of social life, this dissertation shows the need for economic sociology to study the impact of time on economic practices.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2015-06-152016-10-062015
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 290
 Publishing info: Cologne : University of Cologne
 Table of Contents: ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION: ECONOMICS AND SOCIOLOGY
CHAPTER 1. TIME AND WORK IN SOCIAL LIFE
1.1 TIME IN SOCIAL LIFE
1.1.1 Concepts of Social Time
1.1.2 Time of Action
1.1.3 Time in Action
1.1.4 Action as Process
1.1.5 The Temporal Order of Markets
1.1.6 Time in Taxi Markets and Other Linking Ecologies
1.2WORK AND ACTION: DEFINING WORKING TIME
CHAPTER 2. WORKING TIME AS A TOTAL SOCIAL FACT
2.1 CASE SELECTION
2.2METHODS
2.2.1 QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS AND PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION
2.2.2 QUESTIONNAIRE
CHAPTER 3. EARNING TIME: THE TEMPORAL STRUCTURES OF THE DEMAND FOR TAXIS
3.1 TIME, TAXIS AND COORDINATING AGENCIES
3.2 TAXIS AND THE ARCHITECTURE OF TEMPORALITY
3.3MARKET EXCHANGE AS A PROCESS AND CONFLICTS OVER SPEED
3.4MULTIPLE CYCLES OF DEMAND
3.4.1 The Daily Cycle of Demand
3.4.2 The Weekly Cycle of Demand
3.4.3 The Annual Cycle of Demand
3.5 THE STATE, PUBLIC TIME AND SOCIAL MAGIC
3.6 DEMAND CYCLES AND CAPITALIST DYNAMICS
3.7 CONCLUSION: THE TEMPORAL STRUCTURES OF DEMAND FOR TAXIS
CHAPTER 4. WAITING TIME: THE MACROFOUNDATIONS OF SUPPLY AND THE TEMPORAL STRUCTURES OF SOCIALISM AND CAPITALISM
4.2 SHORTAGE OF SUPPLY IN THE SOCIALIST SYSTEM (1945 – 1989)
4.2.1 The Socialist System and the Economy of Shortage
4.2.2 The Encoding of 1945 – 1989 in the Present
4.3 DEREGULATION AND SURGE OF SUPPLY (1989 – 1992)
4.3.1 Encoding of 1989-1992 in the Present
4.4. SURPLUS SUPPLY OF CAPITALISM (1992 – 2014)
4.4.1. Capitalism as a System of Surplus Supply
4.5 CONCLUSION: THE MACROFOUNDATIONS OF WAITING TIME
CHAPTER 5. WAITING TIME: THE MICROFOUNDATIONS OF SUPPLY AND THE TEMPORAL STUCTURES OF THE TAXI MARKET
5.1. FISHING FOR CUSTOMERS: THE TEMPORAL DIMENSION OF UNCERTAINTY
5.2 TEMPORAL STRUCTURE AND EXPERIENCE OF DEMAND
5.3 UNCERTAINTY AND LABOUR STRATEGIES
5.4 COPING WITH UNCERTAINTY THROUGH ROUTINES
5.4.1 Routine as a Social Phenomenon
5.5 COPING WITH UNCERTAINTY THROUGH OBSERVATION
5.5.1 Instruments of Observation and Indirect Cognition
5.6. OBSERVATION, POSITION TAKING AND PRACTICAL SENSE
5.7 SURPLUS SUPPLY AND WAITING TIME
5.8WAITING TIME AND COLLECTIVE SELF-EXPLOITATION
5.9 CONCLUSION: LABOUR STRATEGIES AND THE MICROFOUNDATIONS OF WAITING TIME
CHAPTER 6. POLITICAL TIME: FORMS OF VOICE AND STRUGGLES OVER INSTITUTIONS
6.1 INDIRECT STRUGGLES OVER WORKING TIME
6.2 DIFFERENT FORMS OF VOICE
6.2.1 Murmuring at the Taxi Stands, in Taxis and at Home
6.2.2 Whispering in Political Offices
6.2.3 Hissing in Courts
6.2.4 Shouting on the Streets
6.3 CREATING A CHOIR OUT OF A GROUP OF SOLOISTS
6.4 CONCLUSION: SPEAKING OUT AND BEING HEARD
CHAPTER 7. POLITICS OF TIME: STRUGGLES OVER IMAGINATION AND MEMORY
7.1. STRUGGLING OVER THE FUTURE
7.1.1 The Story of the Future Taxi: The Making of a Prolepsis
7.1.2 The Future Taxi as a Totem
7.1.3 Politics of Expectations and the Reportability Paradox
7.1.4 The Charisma of the Storyteller
7.1.5 Confrontation of Stories
7.2 STRUGGLING WITH THE PAST
7.2.2 Coping with a Problematic Past
7.3. CONCLUSION: POLITICS OF TIME AND THE ORCHESTRATION OF COMPETING VISIONS OF THE FUTURE
CHAPTER 8. DOMESTIC TIME: THE TEMPORAL STRUCTURES OF HOME
8.1 THE WORKING TIME OF ADAM AND JAN
8.2 HOME MATTERS
8.3 HOME AND TAXI MARKET AS LINKED ECOLOGIES
8.4 HOME AS LOCATION
8.4.1 Home and Market: From Segmentation to Partial Integration
8.4.2 Escaping Home, Entering the Market
8.5 HOME AS AN ECONOMIC INSTITUTION: THE GIFT ECONOMY AND GENDERED TIME
8.5.1 Contributing to the Gift Economy
8.5.2 The Family Budget
8.6 HOME AS A STRUCTURE IN TIME: CONFLICTING RHYTHMS AND SENSE OF DISSONANCE
8.6.1 Driving During the Night: Sleeping Time, Trust and Fear
8.6.2 Working on New Year’s Eve
8.7 CONCLUSION
9. CONCLUSION: WORKING TIME AS INSTITUTED PROCESS
9.1 THE TEMPORAL STRUCTURES OF WORKING TIME
9.2 THE MUTIPLICITY OF TIME
9.4 TIME AND THE ECONOMY: A RESEARCH AGENDA
POSTSCRIPT: TIME AND EMBEDDEDNESS
APPENDIX 1. ECONOMISTS ON THE WOKING TIME OF TAXI DRIVERS
APPENDIX 2. LITERATURE ON TAXI DRIVERS IN SOCIAL SCIENCES
APPENDIX 3. INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
APPENDIX 4. QUESTIONNAIRE
BIBLIOGRAPHY
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.17617/2.2218692
ISBN: 978-3-946416-14-2
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/6950
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-69502
 Degree: PhD

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Title: Studies on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy. IMPRS-SPCE
Source Genre: Series
 Creator(s):
International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society, Editor              
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