Informal Employment: Making a living in Calgary

Research relating to informal employment lacks a nuanced understanding of how people subsist outside the normative employment system, and tends to focus on the illegality of panhandling, or the nuisance aspects expressed by the public relating to binning. There is little focus on the lived experience of those involved, with the exception of work done by members of the geography department at University of Victoria (Gutberlet et al., 2007; Tremblay, 2009). As part of Phase 1 of the Calgary Homeless Foundation's 10 Year Plan to End (Calgary Homeless Foundation, 2007), the following report addresses the lack of nuanced understanding by drawing on ethnographic research conducted between May and August, 2010. The research results highlight the complexity of employing informal recycling and panhandling as a means to make a living.

Publication Date: 
Calgary, AB, Canada