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Contacts and contracts: Economic embeddedness and ethnic stratification in London's construction market

Thiel, D (2010) 'Contacts and contracts: Economic embeddedness and ethnic stratification in London's construction market.' Ethnography, 11 (3). 443 - 471. ISSN 1466-1381

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Abstract

Debates over the constitution and operation of economic markets tend to neglect their empirical variability and frequently fail to recognize the specific qualities of labour and contract markets. Based on one year's participant observation on a London construction site in 2003/4, this article demonstrates how labour and contract markets were informally regulated and reproduced, characterized by alternative exchange forms that sometimes involved illegitimate practices. Chains of informal social networks, their mores and methods of association and exchange, closed down the markets to competition and framed the development of ethnic stratification patterns. The patterns were locked in place by strong social ties that had formed in relation to the highly deregulated construction marketplace, and which came to constitute it. This revealed the construction economy as predominately socially embedded in a 'moral economy' that was ultimately underpinned by violence, putting into question numerous claims from the economic sociology of markets. © The Author(s) 2010.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2012 15:35
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 16:22
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/3779

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