"No tourists, no life": The perceived socio-economic benefits of resort work in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
This thesis is an investigation of the perceived socio-economic benefits of resort work in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. In July and August of 2013, ethnographic fieldwork was conducted in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Observation was conducted at a resort in Puerto Plata, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 participants who had worked at, were currently working at, or were affiliated with, resorts in Puerto Plata. Using Jessop’s conceptual framework of strategic calculation and strategic selectivity to build on anthropological definitions of agency, this thesis suggests that resort workers drew on personal experience in deciding how best to exercise agency in order to extract opportunities from their work. The results of this research indicate that despite their economic dependence on, and the inherent instability of, the resort industry, resort workers perceived their work as beneficial as a result of the agency they could exercise in order to generate more of a personal profit.