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Street traders, place and politics: The case of Bangalore.

Bhuvaneswari, Raman (2010) Street traders, place and politics: The case of Bangalore. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The significant proportion of the poor in Indian cities who depend on street trade for their livelihoods are increasingly threatened by eviction as a result of urban development programmes implemented since the mid 1990s. Research on urban street traders (in particular) and the urban informal economy (in general) in the developing world has primarily focussed on aspects of its social and economic organisation and have treated street traders as a homogenous group with a uniform ability to claim places. In contrast, this research explores the differential intracity spatial and political processes underpinning street trade, with particular reference to their ability to occupy and defend their trading places, in the city of Bangalore in Karnataka, India. It focuses on the everyday practices and relationships of street traders and explores the role of informal networks that give rise to such differences, through a qualitative research design and a grounded theoretical strategy. It illustrates the ways in which processes specific to a locale affect street traders' ability to occupy and defend places - an aspect that is overlooked in the theories about the politics of street trade. It argues that the territorial embeddedness of street traders is critical in so far as it affects their ability to draw on a range of networks. This thesis makes a contribution to knowledge in two ways: by providing an empirical understanding of the intra-city differences in how street traders occupy and defend places from where they can trade; and at a theoretical level on the role of urban place and the politics of street trade. It concludes with a discussion of the implications of the research findings for policies relating to urban poverty and governance of urban space.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Public and Social Welfare, Urban and Regional Planning, Economics, General, Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Social Policy

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