(Im)Mobilities and Informality as Livelihood Strategies in Transnational Social Fields

Ignacio Fradejas-García*, José Luis Molina, Miranda Jessica Lubbers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter explores the relationship between (im)mobility and informality by analyzing how informal practices evolve when people migrate and move within transnational social fields. The livelihood perspective allows us to analyze informality and (im)mobility as strategies that individuals and households perform to make a living, including the role played by institutions. The chapter shows that transnational migrants learn how to navigate and exploit formal rules to get things done by adapting their informal practices to the new context following two parallel processes: informalization and formalization. On the one hand, adapting informality entails learning the unwritten rules and selecting, preserving, and adjusting some informal practices while abandoning others, primarily illegal, illicit, and harmful. On the other hand, the formalization process involves adopting the formal rules of the new context, especially those about the residence and work permits. Thus, transnational networks and geographical mobilities allow migrants to exploit the grey areas of various formal systems that come to contact in making a living.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformality, Labour Mobility and Precariousness
Subtitle of host publicationSupplementing the State for the Invisible and the Vulnerable
EditorsAbel Polese
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-82499-0
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Publication series

NameInternational Political Economy Series
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2662-2483
ISSN (Electronic)2662-2491


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