ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Character of an Urban Economy-Small-Scale Production and Labour Markets in Coimbatore

Character of an Urban Economy 'Small-Scale' Production and Labour Markets in Coimbatore John Harriss Based on field research in Coimbatore in 1980, this paper discusses several theories concerning the character and role of 'small-scale' production in relation to the industrial economy as a whole. A distinction is made between small capitalist units of production and 'petty commodity producer units. The patterns of ownership and financing of both types of units are considered, and the character of the linkages between different forms of production is examined in some detail The extent of subcontracting between big capital industries and small units is shown to be considerable, and the interests of big industry in the splitting up of production processes in order to tighten the control of labour are demonstrated. ' The backgrounds and social characteristics of workers in different levels of industry, in casual work and in self-employment are also analysed; and the degree of segmentation existing within the labour market is shown to be high Conclusions are drawn on the processes of reproduction of different forms of small-scale production; and it is argued that while they are subordinated in various ways to big capital production their persistence is ensured by the interests of big capital itself, and by the structure of markets, in particular.

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