freeter / NEET / informal economy


freeter, probably from freelance, Eng. and arbeiter, Ger.
(フリーター) furita, furiita, freeta, furiitaa, or furitaa
the byproduct of a massive realignment of expectations, the freeter finds herself outside the privileges of professionalism and respectability; she is both protagonist and marginal.  Day-jobs and freelancing mark a conscious movement to the margins, but the heaviness of society resists any recentering.  Freeter becomes a label of contempt.  The freeter excels in practices incompatible with careerism: living in the moment; taking what she wants; drifting, dreaming day-by-day.


NEET, see also NLEET
Not in (Labour,) Education, Employment, or Training
demographic data, employment charts, macroeconomic trends define the NEET.  The state demands the education of citizens, the employment of professionals, the training of hands.  NEET is not.  He is not in education, not in employment, not in training.  The NEET undermines national prosperity and jeopardizes social stability.  Numbers and statistics, but also broken promises define the NEET.  Because he is educated in a market demanding training and unemployable in a culture demanding labour, because he desires the televisual lifestyle of state capitalism, because he is — NEET is not.

informal economy

informal economy, the black market
the necessary flip-side to a bounded and defined state economy.  Enfranchised, legislated by a majority, the state economy operates only on the illegitimacy of the informal; it is the invisible and unseen which throws the state economy in such flattering light.


(2008). “Raising the Age of Compulsory Education in England: A Neet Solution?”.British journal of educational studies (0007-1005), 56 (4), p. 420.

Genda Yūji. (2007) Jobless Youths and the NEET Problem in Japan SSJJ. 10 (1): 23-40 first published online May 19, 2007

Masahiro, Yamada (10/01/2001). “No future for “freeters””. Japan Echo (0388-0435), 28 (5), p. 52.


Isoke Craig
Brandon M. Wagner


craig-wagner_glossary_freet, NEET, informal economy

Brandon Wagner


  1. I think what’s interesting here is that NEET is actually just a category of negations, not an actual cohesive demographic. This means any combination of race, age, sex, height, weight, skill-set, anything, could potentially be a NEET. Potentially, a laid-off stock broker could be a NEET. NEET is more like a demographic black hole. For a government to even create a singular category out of these characteristics seems absurd. There may be no solidary amongst designated members of NEET who are probably scattered throughout different locales and communities. The only thing these people have in common are that they don’t fit anywhere else.

  2. I would consider you post about NEET and freeter to actually be one of the more influential posts that I have. I think that is mainly because those words were not in my vocabulary prior to this assignment, nor did I know where to every start to dissect them. It appears that NEET seems to be just item of ‘not’s’ for example in a pie chart or graph they would always fall into the other category. This is what is most interesting to me. Because if we can only define what they are not, then how do we know what they are and if they are not this than do they have to be this or not that? Sorry for the long comment, but it would seem to me that many of the people that we address in many of our readings are those of the informal in the NEET classification and I feel that we need a better way to define then. Do they know where they fit into society, because we do not even know where to begin.

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