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Street Vending in the Neoliberal City: A Global Perspective on the Practices and Policies of a Marginalized Economy

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Street Vending in the Neoliberal City

A Global Perspective on the Practices and Policies of a Marginalized Economy

Edited by Kristina Graaff and Noa Ha

262 pages, 14 illus., 2 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-834-0 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (October 2015)

ISBN  978-1-78920-827-6 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (March 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78238-835-7 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The relevance and uniqueness of Graff and Ha’s edited volume makes it a must read for anyone interested in the complex intersections of social dimensions and phenomena in the study of cities from a global perspective.” • Urbanities. Journal of Urban Ethnography

Street Vending in the Neoliberal City does a good job of conveying the diversity of street vending forms, while also emphasizing their many common qualities and obstacles.  One of the most original features of the collection is its emphasis on the United States, whereas ethnographies of street vending often focus on the ‘Third World.’… Street vending may be marginalized by many officials and elites, but it is hardly marginal, and no analysis of modern economics and capitalism would be complete without considering it.” • Anthropology Review Database

“Overall, this is an excellent book. The collection of essays the editors have brought together is quite impressive . . . The quality is consistently high, and the originality and richness of the writing is very compelling.” • Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria, Brandeis University


Examining street vending as a global, urban, and informalized practice found both in the Global North and Global South, this volume presents contributions from international scholars working in cities as diverse as Berlin, Dhaka, New York City, Los Angeles, Calcutta, Rio de Janeiro, and Mexico City. The aim of this global approach is to repudiate the assumption that street vending is usually carried out in the Southern hemisphere and to reveal how it also represents an essential—and constantly growing—economic practice in urban centers of the Global North. Although street vending activities vary due to local specificities, this anthology illustrates how these urban practices can also reveal global ties and developments.

Kristina Graaff is Assistant Professor of American Studies at Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.

Noa Ha is Researcher at the Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical University of Berlin.

Subject: Anthropology (General) Urban Studies Political and Economic Anthropology


List of Illustrations

Introduction: Street Vending in the (Neoliberal) City: A Global Perspective on the Practices and Policies of a Marginalized Economy
Kristina Graaff and Noa Ha


Chapter 1. Flexible Families: Latina/o Food Vending in Brooklyn, New York
Kathleen Dunn

Chapter 2. Street Vending and the Politics of Space in New York City
Ryan Thomas Devlin

Chapter 3. Creative Resistance: The Case of Mexico City’s Street Artisans and Vendors
Veronica Crossa


Chapter 4. Metropolitan Informality and Racialization: Street Vending in Berlin’s Historical District
Noa Ha

Chapter 5. Selling Memory and Nostalgia in the Barrio: Mexican and Central American Women (Re)Create Street Vending Spaces in Los Angeles
Lorena Muñoz

Chapter 6. Ethnic Contestations over African American Fiction: The Street Vending of Street Literature in New York City
Kristina Graaff


Chapter 7. The Urbanism of Los Angeles Street Vending
Kenny Cupers

Chapter 8. Selling in Insecurity—Living with Violence: Eviction Drives against Street Food Vendors in Dhaka, and the Informal Politics of Exploitation
Benjamin Etzold

Chapter 9. The Street Vendors Act and Pedestrianism in India: A Reading of the Archival Politics of the Calcutta Hawker Sangram Committee
Ritajyoti Bandyopadhyay


Chapter 10. Street Vending, Political Activism, and Community Building in African American History: The Case of Harlem
Mark Naison

Chapter 11. The Roots of Street Commerce Regulation in the Urban Slave Society of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Patricia Acerbi

Notes on Contributors

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