Taxi drivers: ethnic segmentation, precarious work, and informal economic strategies in the Swedish taxi industry

  • Zoran Slavnic the REMESO (Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society), Linköping University, Sweden
Keywords: Taxi industry, ethnic segmentation, informal economy, precarization, deregulation, Sweden


This article invesitgates the processes of ethnic segmentation, precarious labour, and informalization in the Swedish taxi industry during a period of rapid deregulation during the 1990s. It does so by focussing on the life story of a single individual―Adem, a taxi driver in the Swedish city of Malmö. Despite his education, long working experience, and all efforts to make use of these advantages, all doors to an appropriate career in Sweden have remained closed to him. As a result, he has been pushed into working in the taxi sector, which is increasingly characterized by ethnic segmentation, hard working conditins, and harsh competition, forcing people to deploy informal economic strategies in order to survive. Adem’s fate becomes strongly determined by these socio-economical processes. At the same time, the article shows that these processes are not separate, but are closely interrelated and reinforce each other. On the broader level these processes are a general consequence of the neoliberal reconstruction of Western economies, and structural economic, political and social changes related to it.