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Publication Details

Reference
Çelik, Ercüment (2006) Informalisation of women’s labour and new types of labour organisations: the cases of Sewa and Sewu. ISA World Congress of Sociology Session 5: Gender and Labour: 1-19.

Summary
Informal economy has recorded an unprecedented growth in all parts of the world, particularly in the developing countries in the era of new global restructuring. Informalisation and feminisation of labour has become one of the most crucial aspects of the new labour system, which has transformed through decentralisation of capitalist production and the new international division of labour. These processes have simultaneously created new dimensions in defining and organising labour. The exploration of new patterns of work and accordingly, the emergence of new types of labour organisations, organising informal workers, became crucial for the future of the labour movement. As Assef Bayat (2000:533) argues, “a major consequence of the new global restructuring in the developing countries has been the double process of integration, on the one hand, and social exclusion and informalisation, on the other. These processes, meanwhile, have meant further growth of a marginalized and deinstitutionalised subaltern in Third World cities. The new global restructuring is reproducing subjectivities (marginalized and deinstitutionalised groups such as the unemployed, casual labour, street subsistence workers, street children and the like), social space and thus a terrain of political struggles that current theoretical perspectives cannot on their own account for.” The inspiration of this paper is coming from the situation of the informal workers as being one of the marginalised groups in the era of new global restructuring. How do the informal workers organise as a response to their marginalisation in the new global restructuring? Though Bayat considers them as deinstitutionalised, this paper focuses on their institutionalised aspects, such as new type of labour organisations, established and run by informal workers. My hypothesis is: “The rise of informalisation of women’s labour has created a need for new ways of organising, which is leading to the emergence of new types of labour organisations”

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