Precarious working tourists.

10259708_10152240508737933_5804289940906692499_nFriday May 9th, I was opponent in the public examination of the doctoral dissertation of Christopher Brennan, at the University of Tampere, Finland.The thesis was about working holiday-makers (not backpackers!) in Australia. It took a critical perspective, investigating the experiences and the exploitation of these workers and their contribution to the Australian economy. The study used ethnographic methods and was a really interesting insight into this form of mobility and work.

The defence was an interesting experience for me (and for Chris too, I think). In Finland there are lots of traditions to uphold, such as wearing black, arriving 15 minutes late, sitting on a podium at the front of the hall, with the supervisor sitting between the opponent and the defendant, and sharing a nice drop of state-owned brandy before we start! I was the only person asking the questions and Chris was the only one answering – and all in public.I really enjoyed the experience, albeit it somewhat daunting. I hope Chris did too.


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