RECEIVING GUESTS AT HOME BY NATIONALLY MIXED COUPLES: THE CASE OF POLISH FEMALES AND NORWEGIAN MALES
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Hospitality is an important part of intercultural relations and a way of managing social networks. When we take a comparative look at the Polish and Norwegian styles of hospitality, we can see how a society of few strong bonds and a society of many weak bonds are produced in everyday interactions. As Polish and Norwegian hospitality cultures are distinctly different, an interesting question is how nationally mixed couples prepare for a visit and entertain their guests at home. In the light of our investigation, receiving guests at home is likely to make everyday situations of inter-cultural negotiations even more difficult to deal with than usual. During such visits, our interlocutors both expressed and creatively negotiated not only their interpersonal and intimate relationships, but also their identities. Some couples decided to solve possible problems in this area by avoiding inviting guests as frequently as they used to. Another strategy was to separate different categories of guests for different visits according to language and national criteria, which resulted in creating relatively isolated social networks for the man and the woman in a relationship. The third strategy that we identified was to adjust different hospitality models to different kinds of guests and various occasions. The Norwegian model was applied in the case of closer and more frequent guests, and the Polish one – for older family members and those who came less frequently. The empirical material of the study included seven joint in-depth interviews conducted in Poland and Norway, during which the couples were asked about their hospitality habits.
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