Universität zu Köln

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

Serafin, Marcin (2015) The Temporal Structures of the Economy: The Working Day of Taxi Drivers in Warsaw. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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    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.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
    Creators:
    CreatorsEmail
    Serafin, Marcinmartinserafin@gmail.com
    Corporate Contributors: International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy
    URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-69502
    Series Name: Studies on the social and political constitution of economy
    ISBN: 978-3-9466416-14-2
    Subjects: Social sciences
    Economics
    Uncontrolled Keywords:
    KeywordsLanguage
    TimeUNSPECIFIED
    Economic SociologyUNSPECIFIED
    Taxi MarketsUNSPECIFIED
    Behavioural EconomicsUNSPECIFIED
    Faculty: Wirtschafts- u. Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät
    Divisions: Wirtschafts- u. Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät > Seminar für Allg. BWL, Handel und Kundenmanagement
    Language: English
    Date: 2015
    Date Type: Publication
    Date of oral exam: 15 June 2015
    Full Text Status: Public
    Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2016 12:24:22
    Referee
    NameAcademic Title
    Beckert, JensProf. Dr.
    Kroneberg, ClemensProf. Dr.
    URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/6950

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