Human Geography

Download Immigrant Businesses: The Economic, Political and Social by Jan Rath (eds.) PDF

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By Jan Rath (eds.)

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Additional resources for Immigrant Businesses: The Economic, Political and Social Environment

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According to Sassen (1991a), it is striking that the concentration of white-collar, highly paid activities in global cities, has also contributed to an increased demand for marginalised, low-paid labour in small-scale services, cleaning, catering, laundry and so on. Lack of employment alternatives has forced immigrants into these kinds of activities. This line of reasoning allows us to understand the continuing demand for immigrant labour in deindustrialised cities and increasing immigrant entrepreneurship in this ‘other side’ of the global city.

To understand the spatial organisation of production it is necessary to look carefully at the precise relations between capital and labour in a specific sector (clothing) and location (EU/the Netherlands, Mediterranean countries and East Asia). It is to these specifics that I now turn. The sectoral level Whereas textiles can be considered as one of the crucial sectors in the industrial revolution, clothing cannot. Moreover until the end of the nineteenth century noncapitalist production relations remained predominant in the clothing sector.

Changes in consumption and production patterns have, it is argued, opened up advantageous ‘niches’ for immigrantorigin entrepreneurs (Boissevain, 1984; Ward, 1985, 1986, 1987a). Our contention is that many of these supposed market opportunities are in reality highly limiting, acting to inhibit performance and place unacceptably heavy costs on racialised entrepreneurs, a means of reproducing disadvantage rather than escaping from it – except in a small minority of individual cases. This situation is a product of restructuring on two fronts: the supply side and the demand side.

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