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Petty production and capitalist production in Dakar: The crisis of the self-employed

Authors
Journal
World Development
0305-750X
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0305-750x(78)90069-4
Disciplines
  • Anthropology
  • Economics

Abstract

Abstract The small-scale trader and producer has been studied as an individual by sociologists and anthropologists, but now is being seen more as a member of a significant and vital urban economic formation, variously termed the ‘informal sector’, ‘the marginalized mass’, the petty commodity mode of production, and so on. This paper examines the nature of the Dakar economy, the position and role of the small-scale self-employed producer within the urban economy, and some of the fundamental mechanisms of transition and transformation at work within the environment in which these producers operate. The conclusions are far from optimistic: without radical changes to the economy as a whole, there exists little or no possibility of an across-the-board improvement in the living and working conditions of the mass of small-scale producers.

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