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Travelling with the Argonauts: Informal Networks Seen without a Vertical Lens

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Travelling with the Argonauts

Informal Networks Seen without a Vertical Lens

Małgorzata Irek

234 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-898-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-899-1 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“I find it very hard to fault this book. It is wide-ranging, while also having a consistent set of related arguments, and ethnographically exceptionally rich… An interesting and original work in many dimensions.” · Robert Parkin, University of Oxford


Drawing on rich ethnographic materials from longitudinal fieldwork on informal trading routes across Europe, Travelling with the Argonauts offers a new perspective in the research of the social space, reflecting on how best to investigate amorphous social phenomena, such as informal networks. Breaking with much current theory, the approach detailed here – the ‘Restricted Verticality Perspective’ – examines the horizontal dimension of social relations, and understands informality not as marginal or substandard, but as life itself, as the real experience of ordinary people.

Małgorzata Irek is a sociologist, anthropologist, and philologist. For over thirty years, she has researched social phenomena connected with the informal economy, including “irregular” migration, informal employment, and informal networks.

Subject: General Anthropology Theory & Methodology in Anthropology General Mobility Studies
Area: Europe




Chapter 1. The Restricted Verticality Perspective in Researching Informal Networks: Concepts, Definitions and Theoretical Approaches to Informality
Chapter 2. Empirical Research on Informal Social Phenomena and the Limitations of Formal Methods
Chapter 3. Exiting the Emic-Etic Logic: How to Conduct Successful Fieldwork on Informal Phenomena
Chapter 4. Thinking Beyond Sectors: Informal Economy and Informal Networks
Chapter 5. Escaping Locality: Ethnography beyond Systems, Zones, Countries and Sites
Chapter 6. Interfaces between the Formal and the Informal: Actors, Places and Routes



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