International Workshop, 20 – 22 November 2019

Download the program here.
Download the Call for Papers here.

International Centre for Advanced Studies "Metamorphoses of the Political"
Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Georg-August-University, Go ttingen
Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut (SOFI), Goettingen

Formalisation, Informalisation and the Labour Process:
Comparative Perspectives

International Workshop, 20 – 22 November 2019,
Alte Mensa, Wilhelmsplatz 3, 37073 Goettingen

(For registration, please write to the workshop organisers at

20 November 2019

15:30 – 16:00 Registration

16:00 – 18:00 Introduction: Ravi Ahuja

Opening Lecture: Nicole Mayer-Ahuja
Formalisation, Informalisation and the Labour Process:
Insights and Blind Spots of Industrial Sociology

18:00 – 19:30 Reception

19:30 – 20:30 Film Screening and Discussion Cast in India (Natasha Raheja)

21 November 2019

9:00 – 11:00 Chair and Commentator: Jayeeta Sharma

Emma Alexander
Work places and living places in Bombay, 1850 to 1960: how
the informal allowed the formal to function and grow

Anna Sailer
The state and the factory in early 20th century Bengal

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 – 13:00 Chair and Commentator: Aardra Surendran

Denys Gorbach
Varieties of informality and hegemony at “old” and “new”
industrial workplaces in Ukraine

Mamatha Gandham
Heterogeneity of work relations at the site of production in
the New Delhi region

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch Break
14:00 – 16:00 Chair and Commentator: Ravi Ahuja

Rosa Kösters
From segmentation to fragmentation: changing labour
relations in the Dutch formal industry sector, 1973-1985

Vinay Kumar
Restructuring (downsizing) Tata Steel: consent or coercion

Minhyoung Kang
The formalization of informal workers at Hyundai Motor

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee Break

16:30 – 18:30 Chair and Commentator: Sumeet Mhaskar

Dhiraj Nite
Multiple Times, unified process: interweaving of formality
and informality on the Indian mines, 1940s-1970s

Anusha Sundar
Gasping for air: silicosis in the mica mining industry c. 1909-

Suravee Nayak
Political economy of subcontracting in the coal industry:
evidence from the Talcher coalfieds of Odisha, India

20:00 Conference Dinner (for participants)

22 November 2019

9:30 – 11:00 Chair and Commentator: Alexander Gallas

Jayaseelan Raj
Formal as informal: the social reproduction of labour in
Kerala’s tea plantations 3

Peter Birke / Felix Bluhm
Refugees at work: informality in the labour process of
migrants in German slaughterhouses

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 – 13:00 Chair and Commentator: Priyanka Srivastava

Sanjeev Routray
'Time pass' and 'setting': The Meanings, relationships, and
politics of urban informal work in Delhi

V. Kalyan Shankar
Male transgressions into an informal female occupation: the
gender dynamics of waste collection in an Indian City

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch Break

14:00 – 15:30 Chair and Commentator: Kanchana Ruwanpura

Sona Mitra and Ruchika Chaudhary
Labour practises in India’s emerging gig economy: Case study
of women workers in mobile application-based business
models delivering beauty and salon services

Simon Yin
Taxi drivers and ride-sharing in China

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee Break

16:00 – 17:00 Plenary Discussion
Introductory Statement: Samita Sen