We Close, Therefore We Are

Contingent Closure in Capitalist Class Societies and Informality

This paper seeks to contribute to the examination and critique of informality by recalling the mechanisms of social closure that are also present in capitalist class societies. Following the analyses of Max Weber, Frank Parkin and József Böröcz, it argues that it would be more appropriate to supplement the sociology of inf ormality with an examination of contingent closure rather than merely informality itself. The main argument is that it is not informality that distorts excellence-based selection structures but illegitimate or illegal gain or exclusion; the source of the problem is not informality but the illegal or illegitimate use of it. Neither meritocracy nor credentialism would lead to a reassuring solution to the problem, as they reinforce the reproduction of social inequalities and class structure. The paper suggests the employment of the concept of informal social network resources instead of informal capital for further research.

Released: Replika 115–116, 119–129.
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