Negotiating networks of self-employed work: strategies of minority ethnic contractors



Fenwick T (2012) Negotiating networks of self-employed work: strategies of minority ethnic contractors. Urban Studies, 49 (3), pp. 595-612.

Within the increased flexible, contracted work in cities, employment is negotiated through network arrangements characterised by multiplicity, mobility and fluidity. For black and minority ethnic group members, this network labour becomes fraught as they negotiate both their own communities, which can be complex systems of conflicting networks, as well as non-BME networks which can be exclusionary. This discussion explores the networking experiences of BME individuals who are self-employed in portfolio work arrangements in Canada. The analysis draws from a theoretical frame of ‘racialisation’ (Mirchandani and Chan, 2007) to examine the social processes of continually constructing and positioning the Other as well as the self through representations in these networks. These positions and concomitant identities enroll BME workers in particular modes of social production, which order their roles and movement in the changing dynamics of material production in networked employment.

self-employed workers; racialisation; ethnic minority workers; networks; Self-employed; Minorities Great Britain; Ethnicity Great Britain

Urban Studies: Volume 49, Issue 3

Publication date29/02/2012
PublisherSAGE Publications

People (1)


Professor Tara Fenwick

Professor Tara Fenwick

Emeritus Professor, Education