Work, Employment, and Society
Опубликовано на портале: 15-12-2002Monder Ram, Tahir Abbas, Balihar Sanghera Work, Employment, and Society. 2001. Vol. 15. No. 2. P. 353-372.
Ethnic minority business activity has often been presented as a vehicle for upward mobility for owners and workers alike. Much attention has focused upon the owners themselves. The co-ethnic labour that such employers usually rely upon has often been treated as unproblematic. This paper aims to illuminate the experiences of workers in ethnic minority owned restaurants. In particular, the widely held view that working in a co-ethnic firm serves as an apprenticeship for eventual self-employment is explored. Rather than co-ethnic ties, workers' labour market experiences highlight the importance of the opportunity structure in shaping employment choices. The evidence of the current research suggests that the goal of self-employment was not widely held; and although many workers did move around to acquire better paid work, this was not part of a strategic route to becoming a restaurateur. Some workers did cherish such ambitions, but were inhibited by major obstacles. These included intense competition, high start-up costs, and a lack of know-how. The labour market and social context of the firm often militated against the hazardous proposition of self-employment.
Опубликовано на портале: 23-12-2005Ed Clarke Work, Employment, and Society. 2000. Vol. 14. No. 3. P. 439-458.
The development of new private business has both economic and social significance for the post-communist transition. New business firms offer industrial dynamism and flexibility to former command economies typically dominated by gigantic monopolies, while, unlike privatised enterprises, not reproducing formerly institutionalised practices. They further presage the rise of new social groups and values with direct implications for civic, social and political renewal. The author argues that conventional economic theories of business foundation, which presume the stable institutional conditions of Western-style capitalism, are by themselves poor explanations of the development of private business in transitional conditions. The paper proposes instead a social-institutional approach, in which small firms are examined as a socially constructed process undertaken by business founders within ambiguous institutional circumstances characterised by historical legacies and simultaneous discontinuities. The empirical findings allow the exploration of the process of business founding by former nomenklatura. Their stock of inherited social capital gave them a privileged position in the contest to construct new firms and thereby access to the legitimate accumulation of economic capital, which completed their personal assimilation to the emergent form of market-economic capitalism. The paper concludes by assessing the social implications of these observations.