China-Paraguay-Brazil: a route to discuss the informal economy

In this article, I discuss the notions of informality and illicitness based on an ethnographic study about commercialization of goods made in China, i.e. gadgets and fake goods. I have followed the whole commodity chain: factories in China, importation in Paraguay, and Brazilian street markets. Thus, I seek to show how the commodity statute and the work relations of this system metamorphose themselves between the formal and informal, licit and illicit. I also discuss other questions, such as entrepreneur ethos, outsourcing, relation between the informal sector and State, etc. I outline a comparative approach among the different countries studied: China, Paraguay, and Brazil.

Informality; Street vendors; Piracy; China

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