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'When I Enter the Elevator of My House, I Already Feel Like I am at Work': Borders between Work and Not-Work in Network Marketing. Summary

Опубликовано на портале: 12-10-2011
Laboratorium. Журнал социальных исследований. 2011.  № 2. С. 128-131. 
This  article  considers  the  reasons  for  and  the  mechanisms  of  the  erosion  of boundaries between work and not-work in multi-level direct-sales organizations. The article  is  based  on  the  author's  in-depth  research  on  the  American  cosmetics distribution company Mary Kay, active in Russia since 1993. As the activities of the company distributor turn from hobby to career, the border between professional and personal  spheres,  work  and  not-work  becomes  increasingly  fl uid.  A  necessary (although not exclusive) condition for this fl uidity is the absence of wage contract between the Company and its distributors. This transformation results in the changes in everyday practices of the distributors: work practices become integrated into notwork practices, transforming the form and meaning of the latter. As a result, activities which  previously  were  separate  from  work  become  “work”  in  and  of  themselves: socializing with friends, maintaining social networks, personal grooming, as well as the spheres of emotional and subjective affect. This strengthens the reassignment of work as not-work, “leisure,” or “hobby,” which supports the belief of the distributors in the fairness and advantage of their own position and helps justify the expenses connected with their work for the Company.
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