Demanding Hosts and Ungrateful Guests – The Everyday Drama of Public Transportation in Three Acts and Academic Prose
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Culture and Organization
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
In their own view, public transportation companies make a very hospitable offer to commuters: if you are ready to travel with us, we will take you for a reasonable price nearly anywhere, every day and almost at any time of the day, under good conditions of comfort and safety. Please, step onboard. But commuters resist being reduced to the thankful guests of their commuting service providers. Commuting is an experience whose rhythm structures daily lives. It is not an innocuous in-between-doors passage, but a social practice intertwined with the routines bound to the home, workplace, and places of leisure which they commute to and from. Commuting routines are a constitutive part of commuters’ lives. Correspondingly, commuters own their commuting space. They do not own it in terms of legal ownership, although they possess a valid ticket; they own it via the degree to which they are at home in their routines and intuitively know through the senses and feelings produced through the normal flow of daily practices, that they are on their own home turf. Home is more than the physical space of the house; it is an embodied perception of a familiar cultural space which is organized in such a way that one has some control and responsibility over. Because commuters grant transportation companies daily access to the intimacy of their homes, they are hosting the companies, not the opposite. Public transportation hospitality is thus a tension filled drama, co-produced by transportation companies and commuters. In this drama managerial routines meet routines of daily life, legal definitions of ownership meet practice-based ones, and organizational hospitality stands against individual hospitality. Our claim is that the fact that each party considers itself to be the host of the other, the prevailing situation consequently frames the provision and experience of public transportation services as a drama: the drama of hospitality.
- Public transportation
- ISSN: 1477-2760