par Mesa, Héritier
Référence Cahiers d'études africaines, 245-246, 1-2, page (319-340)
Publication Publié, 2022-09-01
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : This article explores the social trajectories of some “informal workers” and the dynamics of inequality they highlight. The study investigates how the structure of labor relations reveal class relations and unequal social positionalities more broadly within the informal economy. The research draws from ethnographic data collected about three forms of income-generating activities in Kinshasa: street bread, second-hand clothing, and urban agriculture. While access to capital offers some the opportunity to successfully develop a profitable income-generating activity, the limited access to various forms of capital constrains many to sell their labor power—often with weakened bargaining power—to those in possession of capital. Conversely, some actors have successfully overcome the constraint of the forms of asymmetric labor relations within the informal economy and secured a relatively decent living despite their precarious position.