Cooperation in the Informal Economy: A Study of Day Laborers in North Carolina Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Gallegos Lerma, Manuel Rafael
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology
  • The growing number of day labor markets in the United States has provided important insights regarding the inner-workings of the informal economy and lives of thousands of immigrant day laborers. In this paper, I address how social norms emerging from day laborers' interactions and personal beliefs pose challenges to our traditional understanding of competition, which is assumed to shape informal social arenas. Empirical foundations stem from two years of community work, multiple observations, and 20 in-depth interviews with Latino immigrant men at an informal labor-hiring site in Central North Carolina. I use snowball and convenience sampling techniques to select immigrant workers who had been at the site at least three years. Findings illustrate complex human relationships emerging from day laborers' social fabric stemming from economic solidarity, mentorships, wage rigidity, community building, and cultural values, such as luck, which challenge conventional neoclassical economic assumptions related to competition at informal labor markets.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master in Arts in the Department of Sociology."
  • Hagan, Jacqueline
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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