Vol. 11 No. 21 (2021): Il paradigma dell'informale nel capitalismo contemporaneo
Monographic Section

Un cuscinetto chiamato informalità. Politiche, simboli e materialità di un “segreto”

Pietro Saitta
Università di Messina
Published November 30, 2021
Keywords
  • informal economy,
  • neo-populism,
  • ideology,
  • mezzogiorno (south italy),
  • precarity
How to Cite
Saitta, P. (2021). Un cuscinetto chiamato informalità. Politiche, simboli e materialità di un “segreto”. Cambio. Rivista Sulle Trasformazioni Sociali, 11(21), 51-64. https://doi.org/10.36253/cambio-10825

Abstract

This essay explores the semantics of the term “informal economy” and, in particular, the relation between the two words. It shows how this subject is anything but something with no form and no structure. Moreover, it reflects on the historical relations between this type of economy and the cyclical transformations of capital. Informal economy is seen as a buffer that makes such changes both socially bearable and symbolically necessary – in order to produce alliances between classes and mobilize different sentiments in given circumstances. The example of (neo-)populism(s), especially in a Southern Italian city (Messina), is provided and shortly discussed. Finally, it advocates descriptions of the phenomenon that unfold the substantial overlapping of what is official and “secret”, and is in fact part of the experience of millions of people in an endlessly changing world.

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