Introduction: Studying markets as spaces of contestation


Traditional markets, where food and other goods are sold on the streets, in covered regulated spaces or in informal settings, are still serving millions of people across the world despite the advance of corporate and globalised supermarkets. They are not only important spaces for exchange in the local economy but also for social interaction, and in particular they are essential to the most vulnerable communities in our cities, from migrant workers, ethnic minorities, the elderly and the poor. At the same time, in recent decades many markets across the world have been rediscovered as tourist attractions, food meccas and even regeneration flagships. Examples of this are La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, Rotterdam’s Market Hall, Borough Market in London, wet markets in Hong Kong or the Port Market in Montevideo. They are ‘must visit’ locations for international travellers looking for something different and authentic. But these transformations are clashing with markets’ important role as public meeting places and ordinary everyday life places for the most vulnerable. The confluence of these potentially contradictory trends and processes turns markets into ‘contested spaces’

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    oaioai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:123694Last time updated on 12/1/2017

    This paper was published in White Rose Research Online.

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