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Friday, November 4, 2011

EASA conference (European Association for Social Anthropology) - session

Dear All,

We - Lynne Milgram (OCAD University) and Lucy Norris (University
College London) - have organized a session for the July 2012 EASA
conference (European Association for Social Anthropology) on
'alternative and virtual markets in neoliberal economies.'

We would like to invite participation. All abstracts must be submitted
directly through the EASA website - see the direct panel link below.
The full panel abstract is also included below in the e-mail. The call
for papers will close November 28th.

Best, Lynne Milgram

EASA Panel Convenors
Lynne Milgram (OCAD University)
Lucy Norris (University College London)

Strategies of resistance? The role of alternative urban and virtual
markets in neo-liberal economies

Urban marketplaces across the globe host a vibrant mix of permanent,
itinerant and ambulant trade, competing with the international
commodity market system at both retail and wholesale levels. They
provision local residents, act as distribution hubs, and offer a means
to earn a livelihood, especially for women. Increasingly however,
governments working within neo-liberal development frameworks embrace
a vision of urbanization that promotes the concentration and
formalization of trade, part of the 'convergence of marketplaces with
market principles' posited by Applbaum (2005). For example, markets
may be arbitrarly relocated, and the built environment reconfigured by
replacing older, flexible spaces with more prescriptive, centrally
controlled and sanitized market premises, dramatically disrupting
market traders' livelihoods.
In response, many merchants resist the threat of hegemonic market
structures by opening up interstitial spaces, forging innovative
entrepreneural relationships and connecting with consumers in unique
ways. Papers may question how such emergent informal and periodic
markets (e.g. selling fresh produce, crafts, industrial goods) persist
and diversify within neo-liberal contexts? What tactics might
merchants employ to mitigate the potential instability and uncertainty
of their frontier trade, e.g. by embedding markets in wider moral
economies? We extend these questions to edgy economic spaces such as
virtual community marketplaces (e.g., Etsy) that resist domination by
global capital, and foster economic models based on social
entrepreneurship and social enterprise. Papers thus investigate the
channels through which these emergent frontier markets are
transforming trade within contexts of competing ideologies over urban
public space, market modernization and the role of new virtual

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