Hannah Schilling
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Trust and rule
Tying workers to work
in Globalized urban precarity in Berlin and Abidjan
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The fourth chapter analyses the airtime sellers’ and delivery riders’ relations to managers and dispatchers. In this way, the chapter decentres from the state as ‘rule-maker’ and monopoly of symbolic and physical violence, to overcome dichotomous views on (in)formal spheres of work. Rather, the chapter looks at regulatory practices. Law-like arrangements combine with personalized trust relations to organize relations of domination at work, which can put workers at risk of precarity. The comparative analysis points to the relevance of ‘ideas of the state’, i.e. how actors perceive and think of the state as a set of political practices (Abrams 1988). In Berlin, standardized rules represent official – or state – enunciations of authority. As such, actors share the belief in them as a legitimate reference against which work cooperation is organized. In Abidjan, the legitimacy of authority on the basis of personalized bonds reflects wider institutional normalcies in which actors see state institutions as institutions that utilize personal relations of domination as sources of authority.

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Globalized urban precarity in Berlin and Abidjan

Young men and the digital economy


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