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  • 1.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Uppsala universitet, Statsvetenskapliga institutionen.
    Informal economies and scholastic epistemocentrism: a reflexive rethinking2017In: International journal of sociology and social policy, ISSN 0144-333X, E-ISSN 1758-6720, Vol. 37, no 13-14, p. 773-787Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine three explanatory perspectives in the academic literature on informal economies that seek to account for agents' engagement in informal economic practices.

    Design/methodology/approach - The paper draws on Pierre Bourdieu's reflexive sociology to interrogate the existing perspectives and to provide a conceptual rethinking of informal economies and informal economic practices.

    Findings - The paper reveals an inherent scholastic epistemocentrism in the established perspectives. By privileging either an objectivist or a subjectivist viewpoint, these accounts do not examine the practical knowledge and logic that constitute agents' knowledgeable engagement in informal economic practices. By making use of Bourdieu's thinking tools of "field", "capital" and "the habitus", the paper offers a conceptual rethinking of informal economic practices as the product of a dialectic relationship between socially objectivated structures and subjective representations and experiences.

    Originality/value - The paper introduces a reflexive rethinking of informality that draws on but also develops an emergent literature on informal economic practices as relational and context bound.

  • 2.
    Grimmer, Bettina
    et al.
    Siegen University, Germany.
    Hobbins, Jennifer
    Karlstads universitet, Handelshögskolan.
    Active entrepreneurs and blue-collar workers: Cultural understandings mirrored in European youth unemployment policies2014In: International journal of sociology and social policy, ISSN 0144-333X, E-ISSN 1758-6720, Vol. 34, no 7/8, p. 559-576Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – With a particular focus on cultural understandings and the concepts behind welfare policies, the purpose of this paper is to analyse commonalities and dissimilarities in the patterns of social policy, and more precisely youth unemployment policies, in Sweden and Germany.

    Design/methodology/approach – A document analysis of Swedish and German youth unemployment policies was conducted with regard to how the two welfare regimes’ policies define the underlying problem, the instruments through which this problem is tackled, and the aim of youth activation policies.

    Findings – The findings show congruency concerning the definitions of the problem of youth unemployment, in which the unemployed are regarded as lacking in discipline, as well as in the policies through which the problem is tackled: through conditionality and pastoral power as policy tools. The solution of the problem on the other hand, found in the notion of the ideal worker to be produced, diverges between active entrepreneurs in one country, and blue-collar workers in the other. The authors conclude that the introduction of supranational policy concepts is not a matter of mere implementation, and that concepts like activation are reinterpreted according to differing cultural ideologies and accommodated into the context of particular welfare states.

    Originality/value – This paper provides an innovative framework for the understanding of the influence of cultural understandings on policy making, but also on challenges facing activation governance on the one hand and European Union policy initiatives and transnational policy diffusion on the other.

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