Thematic Lines

Informal Resources, State and Social Capital

Coordination: Antónia Pedroso de Lima and Manuela Ivone Cunha


Focusing on a variety of moral economies, the IRSSC group aims at studying the specific features, present logics, and workings of informal social networks in Portugal, as they continually constitute themselves in dialects with the State, the market, and their institutions.

This has been carried out in diversified social and institutional milieus: the industrial belt of Lisbon, where a growing unemployment has put new pressures on informal social networks of support; deprived urban neighbourhoods where these networks of support are being put under strain by current phenomena of massive incarceration; market institutions that develop programs of microcredit and introduce new forms of income generation which overlap with non-institutionalized ones, anchored on personal relations; Portuguese financial elite families, whose economic dividends are a result of multiple forms of relationships and of the mobilization of informal ties; social logics of ‘entrepreneurship’, start-ups and business in academia; social innovation, cooperative, neo-mutualist and other horizontal forms of care, schooling and political participation.

Research in these different settings has produced rich materials allowing for a comparison able to highlight the commonalities and the specificities between the mobilization of non financial resources across different social strata.

IRSSC is integrated in broader international networks (e.g. MERSOC, Moral Economies and the Regulation of Social Crisis). It seeks to promote the online sharing of information and the informal discussion of ideas through regular meetings that can be coordinated with other regular CRIA events.

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