University of Leicester
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The Sociogenesis of the Informal Sector: A Case Study of Lilongwe Central Market

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posted on 2022-02-17, 22:49 authored by Lucelle S. Henry
This thesis is entitled The Sociogenesis of the Informal Sector- A Case Study of Lilongwe Central Market. It seeks to answer the research question, what is the sociogenesis of the informal sector using Lilongwe Central Market as a case study. In this regard, it applies a synthetic approach between the theoretical frameworks of Fligstein and McAdam’s strategic action field (SAF) theory and Elias’ figurational sociology. The thesis concludes that the fire of 23 September 2016 signified a major milestone in the market’s sociogenesis. Fires have a fundamental impact on the figurational dynamics within the market, and contributes to a lessening of the power chances and cohesiveness of those in the market. After a market is burned down, cohesion in the market is weak and the market is vulnerable to exploitation. Lilongwe Central Market’s long and deep interdependencies made it resilient prior to, and after the fire. These interdependencies developed as a result of civilising processes arising from the market’s sociogenesis and aided it in its recovery.



Michael Dunning; Maria Touri

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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