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Host/guest encounters in the commercial home

Di Domenico, M. and Lynch, P. (2006) Host/guest encounters in the commercial home. In: Hospitality: A Social Lens. Advances in Tourism Research . Elsevier Science, London, United Kingdom. ISBN 0-08-045093-8

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Commercial homes, which provide hospitality where the private home dimension is significant, blur traditional boundaries between home and work and social constructions of hospitableness versus hospitality. Drawing on interviews with owner-managers of these micro businesses and a guest-researcher's experiences and observations, this paper explores the home space as a dual-purpose site of both commercial work and domestic retreat. First, use and meanings of domestic symbols in performances on the home as stage are examined. Second, there is an exploration of social control and spatial management strategies employed by hosts and guests. The findings reveal that domestic symbols add to the construction and interpretation of negotiated normative practices within these home-based enterprises. They may adopt the role of identity markers and communication tools. Hosts employ an array of mechanisms to achieve physical or emotional distance between the domains of home and work. Social constructs may be subtle as well as explicit, including spatial as well as temporal mechanisms of social control and boundary setting, framed by unspoken protocols.