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Title: Hustle: Social Order in Extralegal Exchange
Authors: Ferguson, Rachael Heath
Advisors: Centeno, Miguel A
Contributors: Sociology Department
Keywords: Ethnography
Identity work
Subjects: Sociology
Social structure
Social psychology
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This thesis looks at the sensemaking practices of actors involved in the extralegal economy, focusing on their interactions with co-workers and customers, and the sense of order that emerges from successful interactions performed under authentic and appropriate identities. The data come from multiyear multisite ethnographic research in the United States and Europe, with subjects that include drug entrepreneurs, sexworkers, and members and associates of Mafia groups. I categorize these actors’ extralegal economy roles as forms of labor that, while illicit, nonetheless impose context on the individuals’ immediate identity and its presentation, in much the same way as if the labor were legal. In each of the cases I analyze ways in which they balance aspects of ‘work identity’ and ‘nonwork identity’, demonstrating throughout that these variations should not be viewed as distinct from or hostile to one another. I find that the individuals in this study practice a constant backstage balancing of identity that is acutely responsive to context and to the identities being performed by other parties to any immediate interaction, all of whom are simultaneously pursuing their own social and professional approval and success.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Sociology

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