Working Time and New Organizational Values as an Indicator of Acceleration of the Serbian Society During the Second Decade of the 21st Century: Anthropological Analysis

  • Bogdan Dražeta Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
  • Ljubica Milosavljević Department and Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
business anthropology, anthropology of time, social acceleration, working time, employees, multinational company


Based on the results of anthropological fieldwork conducted in 2015 and 2016, the paper aims to review the employees’ experience regarding the process of the acceleration of time in the office of one multinational company in Belgrade. The scientific focus is placed on working hours and certain temporal boundaries that characterize it. The most significant outcome is that the experience of a given phenomenon is the result of the fact that time spent during the work increasingly pushes the private time of interlocutors to the point of complete usurpation. The process of the acceleration of time was analyzed at three levels based on the statements of fifty-six respondents. The methods used in this study were structured interviews, observation of daily activities and practices in the company’s office, participant observation, survey on the demographic and socio-economic profiles of the interlocutors, and a field diary. The first level involved an analysis of business hours esteem; the second one was oriented towards studying the process and period of employees’ adjustment to foreign colleagues; while the third level of analysis aimed to instruct employees’ relationship to working hours before and after the experience of worink with foreign colleagues. This research design turned out to be the most appropriate if we keep in mind that the results of this study lean on the results of anthropological research from 2005, which aimed to review the experiences, strategies and expectations of 30 employed Belgraders of different work positions, work orientations and the length of careers in terms of working hours. Amonog these 30 respondents the blurring of the differences between business and private sphere of life has been detected due to the experience of working in a changed socio-economic and political context since 2000 and the beginning of the reform process within EU integration process, accompanied by the specific social acceleration. The continuation of these processes, with certain features that come as a result of another change in the country’s political climate in 2012, therefore, are the key pathways through which the phenomenon of the acceleration of time in the modern Serbian society was observed on the example of a specific work/business community. Consequently, the acceleration of the Serbian society during the second decade of the 21st century, on the example of employees in the office of one multinational company in Belgrade, showed that the experience of working hours and certain temporal boundaries that characterize it among employees is such that private time is almost completely usurped by work time. This can be read through working hours, which practically cease to have clearly defined temporal boundaries in life of most respondents. The performance of work tasks is placed in the service of merging the spheres of business and private life into one, within the wokring hours.


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How to Cite
Dražeta, Bogdan, and Ljubica Milosavljević. 2021. “Working Time and New Organizational Values As an Indicator of Acceleration of the Serbian Society During the Second Decade of the 21st Century: Anthropological Analysis”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 16 (2), 421–458.