Informality currencies: a tale of Misha, his brigada and informal practices among Uzbek labour migrants in Russia

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


This article explores the role of informality among Uzbek construction workers in Russia. We start from a relationship that is based on economic reward and common interests and go on to explore the non-economic components of this relationship. Economically, the workers entrust their supervisor and agree to work for him for a given amount of money. However, this decision is also embedded in a non-economic dimension. All workers, and their master, come from the same village so that an additional layer of social obligations are involved. First, workers are able to receive a treatment that goes beyond economic relations, with favours or more mild attitudes when needed. Second, they are also able to put pressure on the line manager through their families in case things do not work out the way they expected.

We use the case study to propose the existence of a non-monetary currency (or even currencies) that complement formal currencies. Money, its symbolism and the power attached to it still play a major role in the relationships and dependencies analysed here. These points help us in suggesting that relations encompass a wide range of transactions and rituals that go beyond mere economic interest and that cannot be neglected when understanding informality.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Tallinn University
  • Dublin City University

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Juridik och samhälle


Sidor (från-till)191-206
Antal sidor16
TidskriftJournal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe
Utgåva nummer3
StatusPublished - 2016 dec 12
Peer review utfördJa

Relaterad forskningsoutput

Rustam Urinboyev, 2018 jul 25, Eurasia on the Move. Interdisciplinary Approaches to a Dynamic Migration Region. Laruelle, M. & Schenk, C. (red.). The George Washington University, Central Asia Program, s. 27-41 15 s.

Forskningsoutput: Kapitel i bok/rapport/Conference proceedingKapitel samlingsverk

Rustam Urinboyev, 2017 nov 5, Constructing the Uzbek State: Narratives of Post-Soviet Years. Laruelle, M. (red.). Lanham: Lexington Books, s. 119 148 s. (Contemporary Central Asia: Societies, Politics, and Cultures).

Forskningsoutput: Kapitel i bok/rapport/Conference proceedingKapitel samlingsverk

Rustam Urinboyev, 2017 okt 10, Post-socialist Informalities Power, Agency and the Construction of Extra-legalities from Bosnia to China. Polese, A., Lela, R., Kovács, B. & Morris, J. (red.). London: Routledge

Forskningsoutput: Kapitel i bok/rapport/Conference proceedingKapitel samlingsverk

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Relaterade aktiviteter

Urinboyev, R. (intervjuad)
2018 aug 2

Aktivitet: AnnanFramträdande i media

Urinboyev, R. (presentatör)
2017 nov 28

Aktivitet: Föredrag eller presentationPresentation

Urinboyev, R. (presentatör)
2017 jun 72017 jun 10

Aktivitet: Deltagit i eller arrangerat evenemangDeltagit i konferens

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