One way of conceptualizing informalization in advanced urban economies today is

One way of conceptualizing informalization in

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One way of conceptualizing informalization in advanced urban economies today is to posit it as the systemic equivalent of what we call deregulation at the top of the economy (See Sassen 1998, chapter 8). Both the deregulation of a growing number of leading information industries and the informalization of a growing number of sectors with low profit-making capacities can be conceptu- alized as adjustments under conditions where new economic developments and old regulations enter into growing tension.16 "Regulatory fractures" is one concept I have used to capture thiscondition. We can think of these development as constituting new geographies of centrality and marginality that cut across the old divide of poor/rich countries, and new geographies of marginality that have become increasingly evident not only in theless developed world but inside highly developed countries. Inside major cities in both the developed and developing world we see a new geography of centers and margins that not only strengthens existing inequalities but sets in motion a whole series of new dynamics of inequality.
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86 Saskia Sassen The Localizations oftheGlobal Economic globalization, then, needs to be understood also in its multiple localizations, rather than only in terms of the broad, overarching macro level processes that dominate the mainstream account. Further, we needto see that some ofthese localizations arenot generally acknowledged as having anything to do with the global economy. The global city can be seen as one strategic instantiation of such multiple localizations. Here I want tofocus on localizations of the global that are marked by those two features. Many of these localizations are embedded in the demographic transition evident in such cities, where a majority of resident workers are today immigrants and women, often women of color. These cities are experiencing an expansion of low- wage jobs that do not fit the master images about globalization yet are part of it. Their embeddedness in the demographic transition evident in all these cities, and their consequent invisibility, contribute to the devalorization of these types of workers and work cultures and to the "legitimacy" of that devalorization. This can be read as a rupture of the traditional dynamic whereby membership in leading economic sectors contributes conditions towards the formation of a labor aristocracy - a process long evident in western industrialized economies. "Women and immigrants" come to replace the Fordist/family wagecategory of "women and children" (Sassen 1998, chapter 5).17 One of the localizations of the dynamics of globalization is the process of economic restructuring in global cities. Theassociated socio-economic polarization has generated large growth in thedemand for low-wage workers and for jobs that offer few advancement possibilities.
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