'Classes of Labour' at the Margins of Global Commodity Chains in India and China 'Classes of Labour' at the Margins of Global Commodity Chains
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This article deploys the concept of ‘classes of labour’ to map and compare non‐factory labour relations in the garment chain across Delhi and Shanghai metropolitan areas. It contributes to commodity studies by unpacking the great complexity of mechanisms of ‘adverse incorporation’ of informal work in global commodity chains and production circuits. Field findings reveal the great social differentiation at work in informalized settings in the two countries, and suggest that while the margins of garment work are characterized by high levels of vulnerability, they may also open up new possibilities for workers to resist or re‐appropriate some degree of control over their labour and reproductive time. While these possibilities depend on regional trajectories, informal labour arrangements do not only result from capital's quest for flexibility. Workers actively participate in shaping their own labour geography, even when exposed to high employment insecurity. The conclusions more broadly discuss the merits of comparative analysis to study labour in global production circuits.
CitationMezzadri, A. and Fan, L. (2018), ‘Classes of Labour’ at the Margins of Global Commodity Chains in India and China. Development and Change, 49: 1034-1063. https://doi.org/10.1111/dech.12412
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