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Tanzania's informal economy. The micro-politics of street vending


Malefakis, Alexis (2019). Tanzania's informal economy. The micro-politics of street vending. London: Zed Books.

Abstract

An in-depth study of street trading in Dar es Salaam, revealing the hidden dimensions of the city’s thriving informal economy.
The market places and street corners of Dar es Salaam are home to a thriving informal economy of street vendors selling secondhand clothing and other goods. These street vendors often live a precarious existence, under pressure from state authorities and international markets. In addition to these external pressures, the experiences of such vendors are also shaped by a complex interplay of internal tensions, rivalries and conflicting communal ties. Such internal dynamics are a common part of informal economies around the world, but have largely gone unrecognised and unexamined by academic scholarship.
Based on ethnographic fieldwork and extensive interviews with vendors living and working in Dar es Salaam, Malefakis’s book offers a nuanced portrait of those trying to carve out a livelihood in a major African city, one in which ties of kinship and ethnicity are often viewed as a barrier, rather than an aid, to success. In the process, Malefakis provides an invaluable new perspective on the way in which co-operation, or lack thereof, functions in an informal economy, as well as insight into the lived experiences of those who depend on such economies.

Abstract

An in-depth study of street trading in Dar es Salaam, revealing the hidden dimensions of the city’s thriving informal economy.
The market places and street corners of Dar es Salaam are home to a thriving informal economy of street vendors selling secondhand clothing and other goods. These street vendors often live a precarious existence, under pressure from state authorities and international markets. In addition to these external pressures, the experiences of such vendors are also shaped by a complex interplay of internal tensions, rivalries and conflicting communal ties. Such internal dynamics are a common part of informal economies around the world, but have largely gone unrecognised and unexamined by academic scholarship.
Based on ethnographic fieldwork and extensive interviews with vendors living and working in Dar es Salaam, Malefakis’s book offers a nuanced portrait of those trying to carve out a livelihood in a major African city, one in which ties of kinship and ethnicity are often viewed as a barrier, rather than an aid, to success. In the process, Malefakis provides an invaluable new perspective on the way in which co-operation, or lack thereof, functions in an informal economy, as well as insight into the lived experiences of those who depend on such economies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Monograph
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
Language:English
Date:15 April 2019
Deposited On:11 Feb 2020 13:59
Last Modified:07 Apr 2020 07:26
Publisher:Zed Books
Series Name:Politics and Society in Urban Africa
Volume:2
Number of Pages:192
ISBN:9781786994509
OA Status:Closed
Official URL:https://www.zedbooks.net/shop/book/tanzanias-informal-economy/

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