Microbusiness, household and class dynamics: the embedding of minority ethnic petty commerce

  • B. Sanghera (2002). Sociological Review, 241-257
  • Abstract: Microbusinesses are embedded in wider social processes, and it is the nature of this social embeddedness that is the principal focus of the article. In particular. "domestic embedding' of petty commerce is crucial, and involves a mixture of competition, domination. negotiation, and custom (Wheelock and Mariussen. 1997). Furthermore. as a socio-economic group, petty traders and producers occupy an ambivalent position in the class structure. as they are vulnerable both to upward and downward social mobility. While the petty capital class has the advantage of possessing property assets. many members lack significant symbolic and cultural assets. Nonetheless. property assets offer the most robust bases for class formation (Savage et at.. 1992). In addition, the embedding of petty commerce can be both 'identity-sensitive' and 'identity-neutral' (Sayer, 1995 2000: Fraser. 1995). Extra-ethnic factors are significant in this process.
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