To evaluate critically whether under a market system, monetary exchange is always and everywhere based on profit‐seeking behaviour, this article examines cash‐in‐hand work, a form of activity conventionally conceptualised as low paid employment heavily imbued with profit motivations on the part of both the consumer and supplier. Reporting data gathered through structured face‐to‐face interviews with 511 households in affluent and deprived neighbourhoods in two English cities, this article reveals that although most cash‐in‐hand work conducted by people living in affluent suburbs is conducted under social relations akin to employment for profit‐motivated purposes, the vast majority of cash‐in‐hand work in deprived neighbourhoods is undertaken by and for kin, neighbours and friends for a range of cooperative reasons under social relations more akin to unpaid community exchange. Given this heterogeneity of cash‐in‐hand work, this article questions whether seeking its eradication through more stringent regulations is the appropriate policy response, especially in deprived neighbourhoods.
Williams, C. and Windebank, J. (2004), "The heterogeneity of cash‐in hand work", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 24 No. 1/2, pp. 124-139. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330410790939Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited