Coping with Excess

Coping with Excess

How Organizations, Communities and Individuals Manage Overflows

Edited by Barbara Czarniawska and Orvar Löfgren

What does a stockbroker in Istanbul navigating the rush of incoming trading figures have in common with a mother in Stockholm trying to organize a growing pile of baby clothes? They are both coping with excess or overflow. This book explores the ways in which institutions, corporations and individuals define and manage situations of ‘too much’ – too much information, too many choices, too many commodities or too many tasks.

Chapter 3: Potlatch a la Polonaise or consumption cultures in times of transformation

Mariusz Czubaj

Subjects: business and management, critical management studies, organisation studies, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory


Anthropology depends upon the play of details. It should focus on mundane, everyday, boring events at least equally as much as on spectacular events and events that occur on holy days or significant days. What frequently happens is that small, local events become bigger events, unexpectedly acquiring new meanings; and are transformed into something that could be called a cultural metaphor. I begin this chapter with such a small local event. Between 2012 and 2013 a great deal of media attention was dedicated to Weekend – a band from the small Polish town of Sejny, Poland – and their disco-polo song, Ona ta Aanczy dla mnie [She Dances for Me]. It was soon possible to say, without great exaggeration, that the whole of Poland was talking about it. Weekend’s vocalist was portrayed on the cover of the Polish edition of Newsweek, numerous press articles were dedicated to the group and the phenomenon of disco-polo, and, at the time of writing, 14 February 2013, a video of the song has been seen 51 million times on YouTube. Apart from the original clip, there are many parodies, documenting the entry of Weekend into the fan culture.This is what you can see on the YouTube video. The vocalist wears a white t-shirt, a shiny jacket and a thin golden necklace (disco-polo is not rap!) and has a solarium-tanned face – in short, a variation on Don Johnson during his days with Miami Vice. He enters the club.

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