Paper short abstract:
Through an ethnography of Bangladeshi in Lisbon, I will discuss how formal and informal economic activities are poles of a continuum of social action. My argument is that the interaction between the two is best interpreted through the dialectics of revelation and concealment.
Paper long abstract:
Through the ethnographic example of Bengali Muslims in Lisbon, I intend to discuss how formal and informal economic activities should be considered the poles of a continuum of social action; not intrinsic opposites (as dominant voices would put it, e.g. the state and several international agencies). In order to develop such an argument I will explore the economic activities developed by some of my interlocutors which clearly show that formal and informal economic activities coexist side by side. Arguing that they coexist does not mean that both are equally visible, on the contrary. Since formality and informality are subject to different regulation regimes one should try to interpret such a continuum through the dialectic relation between revelation and concealment.
Formal and informal economies in a global world