Informal Employment and Immigrant Networks: A Review Paper

Ellie Vasta


This paper reviews some recent literature relevant to the Immigrant Work
Strategies and Networks Project. Although it touches on some of the
literature about informal employment, it concentrates on literature about
immigrant networks in an attempt to work through concepts and draw out
relevant indicators to be adopted in the research. This brief review reveals a
number of theoretical currents in networks research which include a pro-solidarity
thesis; challenges to the solidarity thesis; the issue of networks
and markets; the roles of immigrant agency and finally, a critical approach
that incorporates the main aspects of these theoretical options.

Keywords: Immigrant networks; networks; solidarity; embeddedness;
social capital; immigrant work strategies; informal employment; informal
economy; integration.

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