Tulbure 3/2009

Sociologie Românească, Vol. VII, no. 3/2009, pp. 91-108.




"Bani albi pentru zile negre": Nest Egg

"White Money for Black Days": Nest Egg

Narcis Tulbure


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Abstract: The paper describes the practices associated with the sale of life insurance and private pensions through prieteni, cunostinte, rude ("friends, acquaintances, relatives") in contemporary Romania. Built on business schemes known as multi-level marketing (MLM), insurance brokerage companies as the one explored in this paper promise to offer security and a worriless future at a time of intense social and economic marginalization. Focusing on the deployment of particular rhetoric strategies and the use of graphic artifacts during the sales meetings (the central communicative event analyzed), this paper illustrates the reproduction of social networks and their repurposing by contemporary businesses. This facilitates the understanding of the social practices that mediate the insertion of late capitalism in former socialist societies.

Keywords: actor-network theory, life insurance, rhetoric of marginalization, sales sessions, social networks, MLM.

Cuvinte-cheie: Actor-Network Theory, asigurări de viaţă, retorica marginalizării, şedinţe de vânzare, reţele sociale, MLM.