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formal / informal
upon closer inspection, the difference between formal and informal forms of labor immediately reveals itself to have more to do with how that labor is reimbursed, how it is framed and how it is valued (or undervalued), than with the actual kind of work being done. for one thing, both modalities of work are to be found in the domestic space, where sometimes cleaning and maintenance work is formal labor, and sometimes it isn’t. (domestic workers cleaning for others is an instance of formal labor, whereas when they clean their own living spaces or those of others, but in exchange of services, favors or goods, this presents an instance of informal labor.) informal labor often goes unacknowledged, simply because it is not framed within someone’s specific occupation, or because it is not (officially) remunerated. yet ultimately it is this labor, and even this labor being taken for granted, that makes the world go ‘round: it is clear that a wholly formalized economy, where everything that is done is reimbursed, would not work. the capitalist sphere of formal labor thrives on informal labor for its survival.