Research funding and support was provided by the International Development Research Centre, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the National Research Foundation, and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing.
1. Ally, Shireen, “Domestic Worker Unionisation in Post-Apartheid South Africa: Demobilisation and Depoliticisation by the Democratic State,” Politikon 35 (2008): 1–21; Baruah, Bipasha, “Earning Their Keep and Keeping What They Earn: A Critique of Organizing Strategies for South Asian Women in the Informal Sector,” Gender, Work & Organization 11 (2004): 605–26; Bonner, Christine and Spooner, Dave, “Organizing Labor in the Informal Economy: Institutional Forms & Relationships,” Labour, Capital and Society 44 (2011): 122–46; Gallin, Dan, “Propositions on Trade Unions and Informal Employment in Times of Globalisation,” Antipode 33 (2001): 531–49; Dan Gallin and Pat Horn, “Organizing Informal Women Workers,” 2005. Available at: http://www.streetnet.org.za/docs/research/2005/en/informalwomenworkers.pdf; Goldman, Tanya, Organizing in South Africa's Informal Economy: An Overview of Four Sectoral Case Studies, SEED Working Paper, (Geneva, 2003); Sujata Gothoskar, “New Initiatives in Organizing Strategy in the Informal Economy – Case Study of Domestic Workers ’ Organizing.“ Available at: http://www.wiego.org/sites/default/files/publications/files/Gothoskar_New_Initiatives_Organizing_2005.pdf (Bangkok, 2005); Lindell, Ilda, Africa's Informal Workers: Collective Agency, Alliances and Transnational Organizing in Urban Africa (London, 2010); Mather, Celia, Informal Workers’ Organizing. (Cape Town, 2012); Sarmiento, Hugo, Tilly, Chris, Toledo, Enrique de la Garza, and Ramírez, José Luis Gayosso, “The Unexpected Power of Informal Workers in the Public Square: A Comparison of Mexican and US Organizing Models,” International Labor and Working-Class History 89 (2016): 131–52.
2. Current academic interest in presenting informal workers as the new leading agents of working class struggle may underpin this silence, as the literature focuses on establishing their progressive and transformative potential.
3. Ally, Shireen, “Caring about Care Workers: Organizing in the Female Shadow of Globalization,” Labour, Capital and Society 38 (2005): 184–207; Cobble, Dorothy Sue, “Organizing the Postindustrial Workforce,” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 44 (1991); 419–36; Jonathan Eaton, “Organizing and Union Renewal: What Determines Union Organizing Tactics?” (Toronto, n.d.): 171–79. Available at: http://www.crimt.org/2eSite_renouveau/Samedi_PDF/Eaton.pdf. Fitzgerald, Ian and Hardy, Jane, “‘Thinking Outside the Box’? Trade Union Organizing Strategies and Polish Migrant Workers in the United Kingdom,” British Journal of Industrial Relations 48 (2010): 131–50; Kenny, Bridget C., “Militant Divisions, Collective Possibilities: Lessons for Labour Mobilization from South African Retail Sector Workers,” Labour, Capital and Society 38 (2005): 156–83; Milkman, Ruth and Ott, Ed, New Labor in New York: Precarious Workers and the Future of the Labor Movement (Ithaca, 2014); Orr, Liesl, “Organising Strategies for New Union Challenges,” Organising Strategies Series Report No. 1 (Johannesburg, 2008); Soni-Sinha, Urvashi and Yates, Charlotte A.B., “‘Dirty Work?’ Gender, Race and the Union in Industrial Cleaning,” Gender, Work & Organization 20 (2013): 737–51; Voss, Kim and Sherman, Rachel, “Breaking the Iron Law of Oligarchy: Union Revitalization in the American Labor Movement,” American Journal of Sociology 106 (2000): 303–49; Yates, Charlotte, “Rebuilding the Labour Movement by Organizing the Unorganized: Strategic Considerations,” Studies in Political Economy 74 (2004): 171–79.
4. Tufts, Steven, Cranford, Cynthia J., and Ladd, Deena, “Community Unionism: Organising for Fair Employment in Canada,” Just Labour 3 (2003): 46–59; Milkman, Ruth, Bloom, Joshua, and Narro, Victor, Working for Justice: The L.A. Model of Organizing and Advocacy (Ithaca, 2010); Theodore, Nik, “Generative Work: Day Labourers’ Freirean Praxis,” Urban Studies 52 (2015): 2035–50.
5. Agarwala, Rina, Informal Labor, Formal Politics, and Dignified Discontent in India (Cambridge, 2013); Shireen Ally, “Caring about Care Workers”; Baruah, “Earning Their Keep and Keeping What They Earn”; Poornima Chikarmane and Laxmi Narayan, Organising the Unorganised: A Case Study of the Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (Trade Union of Waste-Pickers) (2005). Available at: http://wiego.org/sites/wiego.org/files/resources/files/Chikarmane_Narayan_case-kkpkp.pdf; Gothoskar, “New Initiatives in Organizing Strategy in the Informal Economy – Case Study of Domestic Workers”; Naila Kabeer, Ratna Sudarshan, and Kirsty Milward (eds.), Organizing Women Workers in the Informal Economy: Beyond the Weapons of the Weak (London, 2013).
6. Anderson, Bridget, “Mobilizing Migrants, Making Citizens: Migrant Domestic Workers as Political Agents,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 33 (2010): 60–74; Boris, Eileen and Nadasen, Premilla, “Domestic Workers Organize!” The Journal of Labor and Society 11 (2008): 413–37; Pratt, Geraldine, “From Registered Nurse to Registered Nanny: Discursive Geographies of Filipina Domestic Workers in Vancouver, BC,” Economic Geography 75: 215–36; Smith, Peggie R., “Organizing the Unorganizable: Private Paid Household Workers and Approaches to Employee Representation’,” North Carolina Law Review 79 (2000): 46–109.
7. Naila Kabeer, Ratna Sudarshan, and Kristy Milward, Organizing Women Workers; Narayan, Lakshmi and Chikarmane, Poornima, “Power At The Bottom Of The Heap: Organizing Waste Pickers In Pune,” ed. Kabeer, Naila, Sudarshan, Ratna, and Milward, Kirsty (London, 2013): 205–31; Theodore, Nik, “Generative Work: Day Labourers’ Freirean Praxis,” Urban Studies 52 (2015): 2035–50.
8. An important exception is Claire Bénit-Gbaffou's nuanced analysis of organizational divisions between street traders in Johannesburg. Bénit-Gbaffou, Claire, “Do Street Traders Have the Right to the City? The Politics of Street Traders, in Inner City Johannesburg, Post Operation Clean-Sweep,” Third World Quarterly 37 (2016): 1102–29.
9. Kenny, Bridget, Retail Worker Politics, Race and Consumption in South Africa: Shelved in the Service Economy (Basingstoke, 2018).
10. Muñoz, Lorena, “Latino/a Immigrant Street Vendors in Los Angeles: Photo-Documenting Sidewalks from ‘Back-Home,’” Sociological Research Online 17 (2012): 1–17.
11. Mies, Maria, Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale (London, 1986).
12. Samson, Melanie, “Accumulation by Dispossession and the Informal Economy – Struggles over Knowledge, Being and Waste at a Soweto Garbage Dump,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 33 (2015): 813–30.
13. Ward, Kevin, “Thinking Geographically about Work, Employment and Society,” Work, Employment and Society 21 (2007): 265–76.
14. Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space (Oxford, 1974).
15. Doreen Massey, Space, Place and Gender (Minneapolis, 1994), 154.
16. Doreen Massey, Space, Place and Gender, 168.
17. Doreen Massey, Space, Place and Gender, 121.
18. For more detailed discussion of the processes through which reclaimers transformed the dump into a resource mine, see Melanie Samson, “Accumulation by Dispossession,” 813–30.
19. Although municipal waste workers continued to extract small amounts of high value recyclables, their role in salvaging remained peripheral.
20. Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Council, iGoli 2002: Making the City Work – It Cannot Be Business As Usual (Johannesburg, 1999).
21. Bond, Patrick, “Competing Explanations of Zimbabwe's Long Economic Crisis,” Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies 8 (2007): 149–81; Landau, Loren B., “Drowning in Numbers: Interogating New Patterns in Zimbabwean Migration to South Africa,” Migration from Zimbabwe: Numbers, Needs, and Policy Options, ed Centre for Development Enterprise (Johannesburg, 2008), 7–11; Moore, David, “Zimbabwe's Triple Crisis: Primitive Accumulation, Nation-State Formation and Democratization in the Age of Neo-Liberal Globalization,” African Studies Quartlerly 7, 2–3 (2003). Available at: http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v7/v7i2a2.htm.
22. Statistic based on survey conducted by the author.
23. Neocosmos, Michael, From Foreign Natives to Native Foreigners: Explaining Xenophobia in Post-apartheid South Africa. Citizenship and Nationalism, Identity and Politics (Dakar, 2006); Peberdy, Sally, Selecting Immigrants: National Identity and South Africa's Immigration Policy 1910– 2008 (Johannesburg, 2009).
24. Landau, Loren B. (ed.), Exorcising the Demons Within: Xenophobia, Violence and Statecraft in Contemporary South Africa (Johannesburg, 2012).
25. Tamlyn Monson, “Making the Law; Breaking the Law; Taking the Law into Our Own Hands: Sovereignty and Territorial Control in Three South African Settlements,” in Exorcising the Demons Within, 172–99.
26. Meagher, Kate, Identity Economics: Social Networks and the Informal Economy in Nigeria (Suffolk, 2010).
27. Albo, Gregory, “Contesting the New Capitalism,” in Varieties of Capitalism, Varieties of Approaches, ed. Coates, David (London, 2005), 79.
28. Samson, Melanie, “The Social Uses of the Law and Struggles Over Waste – Reclaiming the Law and the State in the Informal Economy,” Current Sociology, 65 (2017): 222–34.
29. Samson, Melanie, “Not Just Recycling the Crisis: Insights into the Production of Value from Waste Reclaimed from a Soweto Garbage Dump,” Historical Materialism, 25 (2017): 36–62.
30. Cohen, Jennifer, “How the Global Economic Crisis Reaches Marginalised Workers: The Case of Street Traders in Johannesburg, South Africa,” Gender & Development 18 (2010): 277–89; Cohen, Jennifer. 2013. “From Wall Street Traders to Bree Street Traders: The Global Economic Crisis and Street Traders in Johannesburg,” in Dirty Cities: Towards a Political Economy of the Underground in Global Cities, eds. Leila Simona Talani, Alexander Clarkson and Ramon Pacheco Pardo (London: 2013): 161–91; Zoe Elena Horn, No Cushion to Fall Back On: The Global Economic Crisis and Informal Workers. Synthesis Report (2009). Available at: http://www.inclusivecities.org/pdfs/GEC_Study.pdf; Horn, Zoe Elena, “The Effects of the Global Economic Crisis on Women in the Informal Economy: Research Findings from WIEGO and the Inclusive Cities Partners,” Gender and Development 18 (2010): 263–76; Millar, Kathleen “Trash Ties: Urban Politics, Economic Crisis, and Rio de Janeiro's Garbage Dump.” in Economies of Recycling: The Global Transformation of Materials, Values and Social Relations, ed Alexander, Catherine and Reno, Joshua (London, 2012): 164–84; Mehrota, Santosh, “The Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Informal Sector and Poverty in East Asia,” Global Social Policy 9 (2009): 101–18. International Labour Organisation, Tackling the Global Jobs Crisis: Recovery Through Decent Work Policies. Report of the Director-General, International Labour Conference, 98th Session, Geneva (Geneva, 2009). Available at: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@ed_norm/@relconf/documents/meetingdocument/wcms_106162.pdf; International Labour Organisation, Global Jobs Pact Policy Briefs: Including the Informal Economy in the Recovery Measures. Policy Brief No. 3 (Geneva, 2011). Available at: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---integration/documents/publication/wcms_150588.pdf.
31. Asef Bayat, “Un-civil Society: The Politics of the ‘Informal People’,” Third World Quarterly (1997): 53–72.