Skip to main content

Framing the “Unproductive”: A Case Study of High-Level Visions of Economic Progress and Racialized Exclusion

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Racialized Labour in Romania

Part of the book series: Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality ((NCUM))

  • 218 Accesses


Simionca argues that the multilevelled marginalization of the inhabitants of impoverished areas is not simply an unintended consequence of uneven or carelessly implemented development. Instead, these segregated areas and the racialization of their populations are an integral and productive part of the current dynamic of capital. It is through an operation of epistemic injustice that the productive work they are systematically involved in becomes represented as marginal and inconsequential. The reproductive work in the domestic sector and the productive work in the highly lucrative sector of waste management fail to enter the vision of city development, thus erasing the epistemic and material contribution of these categories of people to the overall functioning of the system, and instead framing them as unemployable and redundant.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 79.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 99.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. 1.

    An earlier version of this chapter was previously published as Simionca (2013).

  2. 2.

    For example, CCI in Cluj offers the following description of its mission as a legal entity that is an organization of public interest and utility, non-governmental, autonomous: “CCI represents a force that: proposes (CCI CLUJ is a laboratory of ideas for local development, taking part, for example, in the formulation of the annual and long-term development programmes), represents (because it defends and supports the interests of the business community, making available practical and informational tools for enterprises), formation (through the courses it organizes, where it attracts specialists from the academia as collaborators) and implementation (through its examples of clear, successful initiatives, through its presence at the local, regional, national and international level, through its economic missions abroad, the participation of the CCI Cluj representatives in Local Administration structures, representatives of the business environment in the administrative boards of hospitals).” Source: (accessed: November 2013). Author’s translation.

  3. 3.

    I have offered elsewhere (Simionca 2013) a more detailed analysis of the discourses provided by these state officials, highlighting how the past of the city and the desirable direction for the future are represented, which are the more concrete ways in which achieving this direction is sought for and who are the actors and which are the features of the actors that appear as important in making this vision feasible.


  • Ban, Cornel. 2014. Dependență Și Dezvoltare. Economia Politică a Capitalismului Românesc. Cluj-Napoca: Editura Tact.

    Google Scholar 

  • Binkley, Sam. 2009. The Work of Neoliberal Governmentality: Temporality and Ethical Substance in the Tale of Two Dads. Foucault Studies 60.

  • Boltanski, Luc, and Eve Chiapello. 2005. The New Spirit of Capitalism. London/New York: Verso.

    Google Scholar 

  • de Angelis, Massimo. 2007. The Beginning of History. Global Capital and Value Struggles. London: Pluto Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fricker, Miranda. 2007. Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Petrovici, Norbert. 2013. Neoliberal Proletarization along the Urban-Rural Divide in Postsocialist Romania. Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai Sociologia 58 (2): 23–54.

    Google Scholar 

  • Samson, M. 2015. Accumulation by Dispossession and the Informal Economy – Struggles Over Knowledge, Being and Waste at a Soweto Garbage Dump. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 33 (5): 813–830. London: Sage.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sennett, Richard. 1999. The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism. New York/London: W.W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  • Simionca, A. 2013. Development, Underdevelopment and Impoverished Roma Communities. A Case Study of High-Level Visions and Agendas of Economic Progress in Urban Romania. Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai Sociologia 58 (2): 55–75.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ten Bos, René, and Carl Rhodes. 2003. The Game of Exemplarity: Subjectivity, Work and the Impossible Politics of Purity. Scandinavian Journal of Management 19 (4): 403–423.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vincze, Eniko. 2013. Socio-Spatial Marginality and the Roma as a Form of Intersectional Injustice. Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai Sociologia 58: 217–242.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Simionca, A. (2019). Framing the “Unproductive”: A Case Study of High-Level Visions of Economic Progress and Racialized Exclusion. In: Vincze, E., Petrovici, N., Raț, C., Picker, G. (eds) Racialized Labour in Romania. Neighborhoods, Communities, and Urban Marginality. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-76272-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-76273-9

  • eBook Packages: Social SciencesSocial Sciences (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics