Urbanization & Socio -Economic Condition of Informal Worker

Topics: Urbanization, Population, City Pages: 57 (19386 words) Published: September 21, 2012
1.1Statement of the problem

Urbanization is one of the most significant processes affecting human societies. This has been a historical fact experienced globally. There has been a rapid urbanization in the third world countries. Since 1950, the proportion of the .third world's population living in the cities has roughly doubled from its initial 16%. (Lughod & Hay 1977: 96). Pauperization and proletarianization of peasants in the countryside , rapid in-rnigration have caused immense urbanization in the most of the third world countries. The third world urbanization, however, is unbalanced and this, urbanization is often termed as over-urbanization and dependent urbanization. However,b this disproportionate urbanization in the developing third world countries has created a massive underemployment and unemployment. The unskilled labor force, who have migrated from rural areas, though formally unemployed are now working in small-scale, self-employed activities. These self-employed migrants are engaged in vast array of activities, such as, hawking, street vending, vegetables selling, engaging in prostitution, drug peddling and so on. Others found fobs as mechanics, carpenters, small-scale artisans and domestic servants. The array of works mentioned above, we call, 'informal sector'. The share of the urban labor force engaged in informal-sector activities in developing countries is about 20 to 70 percent, the average being around 50% (Todaro, 1997). Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh has experienced a rapid urbanization which is not the result of industrial development. Bangladesh has a total population of 124 million, 22.45% of which live in urban areas. The urban growth rate in Bangladesh is approximately 4.3% per-annum, while the largest city of Bangladesh, Dhaka grows at nearly 6% (CUS, 1999). Another study has shown that, while the urban population constituted only 5% of total population in 1961, it has viewed to 22% in 2006 (World Bank 2009).

Given the unprecedented rate of growth of the urban population in Bangladesh and the increasing failure of the rural and urban formal sectors to absorb the additions to the labor force, the informal sector serves as a panacea for the growing unemployment problem. The ILO (2002a) noted that Bangladesh has more than 90% of the workers in the informal economy. But this workforce is characterized by its low level of class-consciousness, low-level of education, and low-level of working-skill. Workers participating in the informal sector are confronted with socio-economic discrimination, underemployment and rising levels of social inequality due to their subordinate position.

Although the bulk of this labor force is an important phase of urban life in Bangladesh, they cannot adapt themselves properly with the urban. life. I. therefore, have selected this problem to show, through my research, what are the socio-economic condition, how the poor in informal sector, with accommodating stress and strains, and are faring in the urban informal mode of living. 1.2 Sociological Significance of the study:

The informal sector has become the defining character of the urban economy specially in the third world countries. In-spite of the significant growth of formal sector industrial, administrative and other services, Dhaka city and the other urban areas of Bangladesh are still mainly characterized by the existence of a large informal sector. The informal sector poses a great challenge to development in Bangladesh with deep-rooted socio-economic ramifications. It constitutes a large segment of the economy representing the large number of poor and disadvantaged people involved in heterogeneous peripheral activities primarily as the means of survival and subsistence. It provides employment and generates income for a large number of the people. The role of the urban informal sector in development is largely reflected through its income earning activities and different...
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