Introduction: Work, Poverty and Capitalism

  • Jessica Gerrard


Work is central to the production of inequality. This is true for both those in and those out of work. With stubborn unemployment and growing precarity, there are significant numbers of women and men working in the informal economy as a means to get by. Drawing on in-depth ethnographic research across three cities, Gerrard offers an important investigation of highly precarious and marginal workers: sellers of homeless street press—The Big Issue in Melbourne and London and Street Sheet in San Francisco. These street presses create income out of the experience of homelessness and marginality: enterprising the margins. This chapter situates this research within the context of poverty in wealthy capitalist nations and the transnational significance of homelessness, learning to work and informal work.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Gerrard
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MelbourneMelbourne Graduate School of EducationMelbourneAustralia

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