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Sociologies of Formality and Informality

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Edited By Adriana Mica, Jan Winczorek and Rafał Wiśniewski

The way sociology frames the relation between formality and informality is not only complex and multifaceted, but has also evolved over time. This volume offers contributions by international authors that illustrate distinct types of theoretical framings and present various sites of inquiry. It proposes a typology comprising: the sociology of informally embedded formality, the sociology of formally embedded informality, the sociology of the interaction between formality and informality and the sociology of the emergence and transformation of formality and informality.
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Lineland and the Underground Economy: The Multidimensionality of Informal Work by Secondary Education Students

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His subjects […] were all alike confined in motion and eye-sight to that single Straight Line, which was their World. It need scarcely be added that the whole of their horizon was limited to a Point; nor could anyone ever see anything but a Point. Man, woman, child, thing – each was a Point to the eye of a Linelander (Abbott 1884, 55).

Whenever states impose formal rules on people in a territory, noncompliance will occur. There is no empty set of underground activities in any given modern society. This is not to say that underground activities have a comparable frequency in different societies. The width and breadth of informal activities depends upon a number of socio-economic and personal characteristics. Apart from their pure sociological relevance, underground activities have a number of economic, political and social effects. For all these reasons, it is essential that the phenomenon is researched in a conceptually consistent and valid way.

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