Dialectical Anthropology

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 317–321 | Cite as

Comment on Ritajyoti Bandyopadhyay’s “Politics of archiving: hawkers and pavement dwellers in Calcutta”

  • Michaeline A. Crichlow

In the wake of Keith Hart’s classic (1973) essay on Ghana and his popularization of the concept of informal economy, a veritable academic industry on informality arose—the bulk of which focused on the creativity and varieties of informality around the world and its main structural characteristics. A plethora of case studies largely addressed to the “developing” world tended to construct the formal and informal as separate spheres. This approach eventually gave way to studies treating the dynamic articulation of the sectors, highlighting the presence of informal economic spaces in the developed world as post-Fordist casual work, “home” work, urban subsistence and underemployment processes became more visible under neoliberal globalization. This is despite neoliberalism’s touted benefits of growth and welfare gains (spewed out by the academics invested in the truth of the optimality of market processes) and its typecasting of the developmental nation-state as a liability, thereby...


Informal Sector Informal Economy Informal Worker City Official Calcutta City 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA

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