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- PublicationAccès libreMoving marketplaces: Understanding public space from a relational mobility perspectiveResearch on outdoor retail markets has focused on the diverse ways in which markets constitute public spaces where diversity and social inclusion coexist with conflict and reproduction of inequalities. This approach has prompted existing studies to focus on place-politics in terms of group- and spatially-bounded processes. In this paper, we take a relational mobility perspective to show that markets are not delineated and fixed entities. By approaching them as spaces in-flux, we are sensitive to the ways markets are continuously made and remade anew each operating day. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in four European countries (the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), we argue that 1) the practice of mobility is key to understand how markets come into being; and 2) a mobility approach opens up new questions regarding (unequal) power relations in the production of public space as it articulates the ‘relational politics of (im)mobilities’. Although the locality of markets tends to be emphasised as a sign of quality in governmental and public imaginations, we illustrate that the coming-into-being of markets depends on social, material and institutional relations coming from elsewhere.
- PublicationAccès libreKnowledge production, reflexivity, and the use of categories in migration studies: tackling challenges in the fieldRecent debates in migration studies target the non-reflexive use of categories that derive from nation-state- and ethnicity-centred epistemologies. However, what a category is and how categorization works remain undertheorized. Our paper addresses this gap. Through a qualitative study on experiences of Othering among migrant descendants in Zurich (CH) and Edinburgh (UK), we scrutinize the perspectival, political, and performative nature of categories. We show how the persons informing our study were highly reflexive when using the category migrant descendant: They contested, negotiated, and navigated it in multiple ways. Although this specific category is firmly embedded in the “national order of things”, it ultimately proved to be inclusive. We argue that reflexivity in the field can not only create space for the often-muted voices of research participants, but also helps to overcome important pitfalls that derive from issues of legitimacy, representation, and power relations in scientific knowledge production.
- PublicationAccès libreDisentangling Following: Implications and Practicalities of Mobile Methods(2021-8-2)
;Breines, Markus Roos ;Schapendonk, JorisThe increasing interest in mobilities among social scientists over the past two decades has generated new research approaches to deepen the understanding of people’s diverse movements. These methods have focused on capturing research participants’ mobilities, but also led to new ways of thinking about researchers’ mobilities as a strategy to collect data. In this paper, we explore the relationship between researchers and research participants’ mobilities through the idea of ‘following’. Drawing on insights from the Moving Marketplaces research project on eight markets in the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK, we highlight the lack of beginnings and endings of following. This leads us to a reflection on what to actually follow as well as an analysis of the doings of following. This paper examines some of the unexplored terrains in the conceptual and methodological debate around following and argues that it is essential to reflexively engage with the implications and practicalities of this approach. We argue that it is more productive to regard following not only as the physical process of following people, objects, knowledge, etc., but also as a theoretical and methodological openness that embraces and articulates the dynamic and non-linear character of ethnographic research practices.
- PublicationAccès libreRe-producing public space: the changing everyday production of outdoor retail marketsIn 2020, nation states across Europe restricted access to, and use of, public space to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As almost all public spaces in Europe were consequently affected by restrictive measures, so too did outdoor retail markets drastically change. Some had to close down completely, whereas others operated under the sway of severe limitations for traders and customers. By re-engaging with the work of the late Michael Sorkin, it could be argued that the effects of COVID-19 add another dimension to the “end” or “death” of public space. In this paper, we shift attention to the tactics and strategies of one category of public figures behind the everyday production of markets, the traders, to show that markets in Spain, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the Netherlands did not simply stop functioning as public spaces. Rather, they took on different forms that extended spatially beyond their physical boundaries. These transformations allowed for the continuation of the social and political dimensions of public space.