Technology among petty commodity producers: The case of Katwe metal workers.
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The study seeks to examine the role of petty commodity producers in the national economy. It deals with the question of the reproduction of urban labour power in regard to the interconnection between workers of the industrial, commercial and the public service sectors, and those in the so called “informal sector”. This leads to an examination of the political relations that bind petty commodity production to the state. The study touches on conceptual problems related to this category of activities which it situates in the formal/informal dichotomy and examines their implications for a state in political and economic crisis. Examples are drawn from the specific locality of Katwe, in its history, the nature of goods produced by the petty commodity procedures there and the relations of production within their workshops. The study then draws conclusion on various aspects of these production processes: on the dependence of these producers on the state, perspectives for increase in scale and quality of production, legal status of these activities and implications for the organisation of urban social forces.