Dissertation Abstracts

''State,Informality and Urban Marginality:The Miseries of street Vendors in Dhaka City''

Author: Hussain, Rasel , raseldu1971@gmail.com
Department: Depatment of Sociology
University: University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Supervisor: Professor Dr. Shahadat Hossain
Year of completion: 2013
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: State,Informality , Urban Marginality , Street Vendors , Dhaka city
Areas of Research: Political Sociology , Economy and Society , Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy


Neoliberalization has bestowed the world cities with a concentration of surplus population working in informal sector. This surplus urban population engaged in informal economy is a specific characteristic of dependent urbanization occurring in third world countries. Dependent urbanization incorporates over-urbanization and parasitic cities with low standard of living and high rate of unemployment. But the governments of third world countries like Bangladesh run by the interests of the IMF and World Bank cannot create formal employment for this large segment of urban populations. In this monograph the area of interest falls on ‘Street vending’, the most common urban informal sector of the city. To conducting this research literature has been reviewed from the global, Asian and national perspectives. Solid theoretical framework has been constructed after reviewing the work of prominent urban sociologist like Mike Davis, Manuel Castells, Saskia Sassen, David Harvey, Michel Humphrey and Hernando de Soto. After the engagement of the street vending activities they face different types of problems like problems of harassment, eviction, confiscation and sometimes they are forced to provide goods in undervalued prices. The State mechanism in most of the cases is responsible to create all of these hazards and in this regard police and municipal authority play the key role. Also then without finding any other sources of subsistence they have to go through the process of vulnerabilities and sometimes they have to negotiate with the problem creator by providing speed money. This is the politics of informality. The street vendors are the right claim citizen although their rights are constantly violated by the state and thus they fall in the category of urban marginal group. In the study it has been viewed that 80% of the respondents have demand towards government and these are, the security of their life and business, capital support, fixed place for business and the solution of harassment, eviction and confiscation. So it’s the duty of the government to fulfill their demand and include them in the main stream of the society.

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