Discreet Economy: Luxury Hospitality in the Context of Postsocialist Transformation of Czech Society

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Iveta Hajdáková


Postsocialism, Czech Republic, Hospitality, Luxury, Service Work, Restaurant, Economy, Morality


In the Czech Republic, popular discourse on service workers is characterized by complaints about poor level of Czech hospitality resulting from the country’s socialist history. On the other hand, there are luxury restaurants that are considered a mark of individual success of their owners as well as of economic transformation and prosperity. This paper looks at a case study of one luxury restaurant in Prague and shows how hospitality, luxury, and inequalities between workers and customers were negotiated and contested by workers. The concept of discreet economy is introduced to analyze exchanges between agents, inequalities between them, and workers’ strategies of resistance. Readers are invited to see luxury hospitality as an arena where postsocialist transformation of the society is negotiated. In English, extended summary in Russian.

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