Informal work – family care, voluntary work, and undeclared or unregulated work – is a critical form of labor in today’s economy, yet remains underanalyzed and examined. This volume develops a comprehensive conceptual framework of informal work and analyses systematically the relationship of formal and informal work. Using a coherent theoretical and methodological approach, this volume explores informal and formal work in six countries and contributes to our empirical knowledge of informal work and its different interrelations with formal work in various societies. A landmark study in the analysis of work, the book demonstrates how the relationship of formal and informal work is developing, how this can be explained in the specific context of the arrangement of work and welfare, and in which ways informal work possibly contributes to social integration and social cohesion.
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Birgit Pfau-Effinger is Professor of Sociology at the University of Hamburg.
Lluis Flaquer is Professor of Sociology at Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.
Per H. Jensen is Professor of Sociology at Aalborg University.
Using the latest conceptual tools and insights into the diverse nature of the informal sphere, this edited volume maps the interactions of formal employment and various types of informal work in a range of European-Union countries with differing welfare regimes, cultural values and gender arrangements. In so doing, it suggests how social policy might approach the informal sector not merely as a ‘problem’ but as having the potential to promote social integration. In consequence, it represents a considerable contribution to the study of the informal sector and the debates on the future of work and welfare in contemporary Europe.
Jan Windebank, University of Sheffield
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