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Size and nature of paid informal work amongst the Pakistani community of Sheffield : a case study.

Shahid, Muhammad Shehryar (2012) Size and nature of paid informal work amongst the Pakistani community of Sheffield : a case study. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Realising the increasing significance of the informal economy in the agendas of the advanced economies in general and the UK in particular, this study seeks to explore the magnitude and characteristics of the informal work conducted by the second largest ethnic minority group of the UK. Until now, and despite a substantial influx of non-white immigrant workers into the UK economy, little attention has been paid in a UK context to the relationship between ethnic minorities, immigration and informal work. The aim of this thesis is to begin to fill this void by evaluating the size and nature of the informal economy along with the motivations for conducting such work of the Pakistani community in Sheffield. Drawing upon 50 semi- structured and 3 focus group interviews conducted with Pakistani households in three neighbourhoods of Sheffield where this ethnic minority community is concentrated, this survey reveals that the Pakistani community is heavily engaged in both supplying and purchasing paid informal work. Of all the households interviewed, 98% and 58% of the respondents stated that they had purchased and supplied informal goods/services respectively. Nevertheless, not every Pakistani household is equally likely to engage in informal economic activities; in fact there are significant variations in the participation rates of people with different employment status. The paid informal work of the Pakistani workers is heavily concentrated in a narrow range of sectors, including retail, transport, catering and mostly lightly the construction services. Contrary to the conventional belief, however, the engagement of the Pakistani households in the informal economy is not purely motivated by economic gains; in fact, a considerable fraction of their informal trade is also based on certain social motives. The thesis concludes by calling for further research in other Pakistani communities as well as more widely, to explore whether the results are replicated, so as to eliminate the gap in understanding concerning the relationship between the informal economy and ethnic minority communities. This survey method, it concludes, offers a comprehensive survey structure to be replicated in the localities of other ethnic minority populations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Management School (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.555236
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2016 15:15
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2016 15:15
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14564

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