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Brokering labour: The politics of markets in the Kathmandu construction industry

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Though there is a rich tradition for labor studies in anthropology, little attention has so far been paid to the markets that connect prospective employees with places of work. In this article I show that places of labor mobilization become sites of brokerage that index the complicated politics through which labor is rendered available to industry, particular in the context of non-formalized employment relations. Utilizing a political economic framework, I locate contemporary informal construction labor within the larger histories of employment that have characterised the Nepali state's integration into the global economy. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Kathmandu, the article traces processes of dislocation and differentiation for construction laborers as they struggle to secure work and argues for the role precarious workers themselves play as brokers of their labor power as a protection mechanism against experiences of exploitation.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEthnography
ISSN1466-1381
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

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