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Street Economies in the Urban Global South


Edited by Karen Tranberg Hansen, Walter E. Little, and B. Lynne Milgram

This book focuses on the economic, political, social, and cultural dynamics of street economies across the urban Global South. Although contestations over public space have a long history, Street Economies in the Urban Global South presents the argument that the recent conjuncture of neoliberal economic policies and unprecedented urban growth in the Global South has changed the equation. The detailed ethnographic accounts from postsocialist Vietnam to a struggling democracy in the Philippines, from the former command economies in Africa to previously authoritarian regimes in Latin America, focus on the experiences of often marginalized street workers who describe their projects and plans. The contributors to Street Economies in the Urban Global South highlight individual and collective resistance by street vendors to overcome numerous processes that exacerbate the marginality and disempowerment of street economy work.

2014. 272 pp., figures, notes, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Florence E. Babb, Ray Bromley, Gracia C. Clark, Karen Tranberg Hansen, Maria Hedman, Ilda Lindell, Walter E. Little, B. Lynne Milgram, Wilma S. Nchito, Suzanne Scheld, Linda J. Seligmann, Lydia Siu, Sarah Turner, Kyle-Nathan Verboomen

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“In recent years ‘the street’ is everywhere in uprisings and economies, yet mostly neglected as a general topic for scholars. This exciting collection of studies is an important corrective, with insightful and well researched analyses of the places where the vast informal sector operates and makes urban landscapes vital and diverse. These rich and informative contributions revitalize the anthropological tradition of research on market vendors in the Global South.”
—Alan Smart, University of Calgary


  1. Introduction: Street Economies in the Urban Global South
    Karen Tranberg Hansen, Walter E. Little, and B. Lynne Milgram
  2. Rethinking the Public Realm: On Vending, Popular Protest, and Street Politics
    Ray Bromley
  3. Twentieth-Century Government Attacks on Food Vendors in Kumasi, Ghana
    Gracia C. Clark
  4. Where Have All the Vendors Gone? Redrawing Boundaries in Lusaka’s Street Economy
    Karen Tranberg Hansen and Wilma S. Nchito
  5. Taking the Street into the Market: The Politics of Space and Work in Baguio City, Philippines
    B. Lynne Milgram
  6. Maya Street Vendors’ Political Alliances and Economic Strategies in the Tourism Spectacle of Antigua, Guatemala
    Walter E. Little
  7. The Politics of Urban Space among Street Vendors of Cusco, Peru
    Linda J. Seligmann
  8. Appropriate Space? An Everyday Politics of Street Vendor Negotiations in Hanoi, Vietnam
    Sarah Turner
  9. Veiled Racism in the Street Economy of Dakar’s Chinatown in Senegal
    Suzanne Scheld and Lydia Siu
  10. The World Cup 2010, “World Class Cities,” and Street Vendors in South Africa
    Ilda Lindell, Maria Hedman, and Kyle-Nathan Verboomen
  11. Street Economies in the Urban Global South: Where Are They Heading and Where Are We Heading?
    Florence E. Babb

There are no working papers for this book at the present time.