"Be European, Recycle Yourself!" The Changing Work Ethic in Romania
Berlin: LIT Verlag
Year of publication
"Westernisation" and the prospect of European integration have been formidable catalysts for social and economic change in Eastern European countries since 1989. Full of promises and expectations but lacking economic means and adequate structures, Romanian enterprises have faced particularly difficult problems. Prompted by employees’ self-criticism, this book explores the dynamics of work values in the service sector in Bucharest. Based on long term ethnographic fieldwork, the study analyses the factors determining social and cultural change at the local level, from the impact of Western ideologies and symbolic measures to concrete organisational and economic constraints. Monica Heintz emphasizes the impact of the forced pace of change, which caused social disorder and disrupted individual values. She challenges the notion of a universal ethnic of work and argues that what governs relationships between employees and clients in the Romanian context is simply an ethnic of human relations.