Bed, Breakfast and Friendship: Intimacy and Distance in Small-Scale Hospitality Businesses


  • Erika Andersson Cederholm Department of Service Management, Lund University, Sweden
  • Johan Hultman Department of Service Management, Lund University, Sweden



Hospitality, intimacy, distance, performativity, boundary work, life-style entrepreneurs


Through an analysis of the narrative of a Bed and Breakfast (B & B) and art gallery owner, the emergence of intimacy as a commercial value in the hospitality industry is illustrated. This is a formation of economic value where economic rationality as a motive for commercial activity is rejected. Simultaneously though, a different set of market attitudes are performed by hospitality practitioners in the course of everyday interactions with customers, and a tension between emotional, spatial and temporal intimacy and distance is uncovered and discussed. It is concluded that commercial friendship is a more complex issue than what has been acknowledged so far in the hospitality literature. A continued discussion of intimacy in hospitality will therefore affect the cultural understanding of emotions, identity and lifestyle values on the one hand, and business strategy, value creation and markets on the other.


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How to Cite

Andersson Cederholm, E. and Hultman, J. (2010) “Bed, Breakfast and Friendship: Intimacy and Distance in Small-Scale Hospitality Businesses”, Culture Unbound, 2(3), pp. 365–380. doi: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.10221365.



Theme: Culture, Work and Emotion