Microenterprise development, industrial labour, and the seductions of precarity

Prentice, Rebecca (2017) Microenterprise development, industrial labour, and the seductions of precarity. Critique of Anthropology, 37 (2). pp. 201-222. ISSN 0308-275X

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Microenterprise development is underpinned by an ideology that the solution to poverty is the integration of the poor into market relations. This article addresses the paradox that its ‘beneficiaries’ may be dispossessed industrial workers who already have a long history of participation in the capitalist economy. Exploring the transformation of garment workers in Trinidad from factory employees to home-based ‘micro-entrepreneurs’, I argue that working conditions and labour rights have deteriorated under the protective cover of seemingly laudable policies to promote economic empowerment via self-employment. Showing how microenterprise initiatives contribute to women workers’ ‘adverse incorporation’ (Phillips, 2011) into global production networks, this article calls for renewed attention to the labour politics of microenterprise development.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Depositing User: Rebecca Prentice
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2016 14:22
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 11:38
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/60134

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