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Cacophony of Contestation: Forms of Voice and the Warsaw Taxi Market as a Field of Struggles

  • Marcin Serafin (a1)

This article analyses the political struggles in and around the Warsaw taxi market. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of social fields and incorporating Albert Hirschman’s metaphor of political action as voice, I capture the position-taking of members of the taxi field, highlighting the different levels of involvement in the struggles. By distinguishing between different forms of voice—murmuring, jeering, whispering, hissing, grunting, and shouting—I show that the struggles that shape the Warsaw taxi market take the form of struggles over classifications and struggles over opportunities for exchange. I describe how market institutions are established and contested within the political field; enforced and contested within the bureaucratic field; and interpreted and contested within the juridical field. I thus contribute a field theory that investigates the links between fields and especially between economic fields and the state. This article draws on fieldwork conducted in Warsaw between November 2012 and June 2013.


Cet article analyse les luttes politiques à l’œuvre à l’intérieur et autour du marché des taxis de Varsovie. En m’appuyant sur la théorie des champs de Pierre Bourdieu et la métaphore de l’action politique comme « voix » proposée par Albert Hirschman, j’étudie les prises de position des agents du champ des taxis, en soulignant les différents niveaux d’engagement dans les luttes. En distinguant différents types de « voix » – notamment le murmure, le chuchotement, le grognement, etc. –, je montre que les luttes inhérentes au marché des taxis à Varsovie sont avant tout des luttes de classifications et d’opportunités d’échange. L’article décrit comment les institutions de marché sont établies et contestées dans le champ politique; imposées et contestées dans le champ bureaucratique ; et interprétées et contestées dans le champ juridique. Appuyé sur une enquête terrain réalisée à Varsovie entre novembre 2012 et juin 2013, l’article contribue finalement á la théorie des champs et à l’étude des liens entre les champs économiques et l’Etat.


Dieser Aufsatz untersucht die politischen Kämpfe in und um den Warschauer Taximarkt. Aufbauend auf der Feldtheorie Pierre Bourdieus und Albert Hirschman’s Metapher der politischen Aktion als „Stimme“, versuche ich die Stellungnahmen der Taximarktmitglieder zu verdeutlichen, wobei den auf unterschiedlichen Ebenen ausgetragenen politischen Kämpfen ein besonderer Augenmerk gilt. Die Differenzierung zwischen verschiedenen stimmlichen Ausdrucksformen – insbesondere des Murmelns, Flüsterns, Zischens, Grunzens, Schreiens – erlaubt mir zu zeigen, wie die für den Warschauer Taximarkt charakteristischen Kämpfe hauptsächlich Kämpfe um Klassifizierungen und Tauschgelegenheiten sind. Ich beschreibe, wie Marktinstitutionen entstehen und auf politischer Ebene angefochten, wie sie auf bürokratischer Ebene durchgesetzt und bekämpft werden, und auf juristischer Ebene interpretiert und infrage gestellt werden. Eine zwischen November 2012 und Juni 2013 durchgeführt Feldforschung beschreibend, untersucht der Aufsatz die Beziehung zwischen Ebenen und insbesondere wirtschaftlichen Bereichen und dem Staat.

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European Journal of Sociology / Archives Européennes de Sociologie
  • ISSN: 0003-9756
  • EISSN: 1474-0583
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