Shopping with each other: Liminal Exchanges on the Northcote Road

Deville, Joseph. 2008. Shopping with each other: Liminal Exchanges on the Northcote Road. Socioloy Working Papers, pp. 1-14. [Article]

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We live in a time in which the laws of the market can appear all- conquering, in which the principles of liberal economic theory are becoming applied to an ever widening sphere of processes, to the extent that, for some theorists, even our identities become implicated, as the individual becomes conceptualised not only as the producer and consumer of goods and services, but as ‘the entrepreneur of himself or herself’ (Gordon 1991: 44). The marketplace however, seems to hark back to a different time, in which ‘The Global’ had little meaning; when the supply of fresh produce depended on the season and not international freight networks; and where the supply-chains linking producer and vendor were short, if not non-existent. And yet in the UK, the marketplace is undergoing a resurgence. Farmer’s markets, where producers sell direct to customers, have led the way; whereas none existed in 1997, by 2003 450 had been established in England (DEFRA 2003: 79; Bullock 2000: 4). There has also been an explosion in what might be termed the urban ‘gourmet market’. Borough Market in London, for example, historically a wholesale fruit and vegetable market selling to traders and restaurateurs, has been hugely successful since it started a gourmet market at weekends in 1999. And the Northcote Road market in South London, which will be the focus of this paper, has evolved from a market on the verge of closure in the mid-1990s, to an increasingly successful market in which apparently wealthy customers can pick up everything from fruit and vegetables, to artisan baked breads, stuffed olives and pashminas.�

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Date Deposited:

03 Jun 2013 13:58

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:51


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