The Heterogeneity of Cash-In Handwork

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 2004, Vol. 24, No. 1/2, pp. 124-140.

16 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2015

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

Jan E. Windebank

University of Sheffield - Department of French

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

To evaluate critically whether under a market system, monetary exchange is always and everywhere based on profit-seeking behaviour, this article examines cash-in-hand work, a form of activity conventionally conceptualised as low paid employment heavily imbued with profit motivations on the part of both the consumer and supplier. Reporting data gathered through structured face-to-face interviews with 511 households in affluent and deprived neighbourhoods in two English cities, this article reveals that although most cash-in-hand work conducted by people living in affluent suburbs is conducted under social relations akin to employment for profit-motivated purposes, the vast majority of cash-in-hand work in deprived neighbourhoods is undertaken by and for kin, neighbours and friends for a range of cooperative reasons under social relations more akin to unpaid community exchange. Given this heterogeneity of cash-in-hand work, this article questions whether seeking its eradication through more stringent regulations is the appropriate policy response, especially in deprived neighbourhoods.

Keywords: Informal sector, household work practices, livelihoods, economic development, England

JEL Classification: H26, J46, J48, K34, K42, O17

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin and Windebank, Jan E., The Heterogeneity of Cash-In Handwork (2004). International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 2004, Vol. 24, No. 1/2, pp. 124-140., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2708204

Colin Williams (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

15 Conduit Road
Sheffield, S10 1FL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/williams/index

Jan E. Windebank

University of Sheffield - Department of French ( email )

United Kingdom
(0114) 222 4888 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.shef.ac.uk/french/staff/jwindebank.html

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