Working for Global Market: Lived Realities of Informal Home-based Workers in a Global Supply Chain

Farah Naz

Abstract


The ‘neoliberal’ phase of the capitalist economy has been expressed through trade liberalization and labour market flexibility. However, human cost of labour market flexibility is often not fully acknowledged in existing debates on economic globalization. Articulating a qualitative case study of the football industry of Pakistan as an example of general mechanism of social relations of production and reproduction in a global system of production organization, this research highlights that how and under what conditions informal workers are integrated into global supply chains.Major aim of paper is to investigate the localized meanings, dynamics, and consequences of the global system of production organisation. The underlying assumption is that context-specificity always matters in any meaningful analysis of social change. Therefore, exploring the multiplicity of contexts in which informal home-based work is performed could facilitate a holistic understanding of the uniqueness of homeworker’s position in the international division of labour. Various dimensions of informal work at various nodes of global supply chain are explored through in-depth interviews. This study questions the existing approaches towards home-based work and presents an alternative discourse that stems from voicing the concerns and experiences of homeworkers, which are too often voiceless groups.


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