Street Vendors in the Global City: Exploring Genoa's Informal Economy

Joseph S. DeLuca


On any given nice afternoon or early evening, it is not an uncommon site to see some Senegalese, Moroccan, or other North African street vendors on Via XX Settembre, in Piazza De Ferrari, or by the Principe train station on Via Pré or Via Del Campo in Genoa, Italy. Lined up along the sidewalk or roaming tightly confined market areas, and always on the lookout for police presence, they represent recurring actors on the complex stage of globalization in the global city. These niches in the informal economy represent a growing trend in the modern city. Who exactly are these people? How has the global city enhanced said roles? Why have these roles come about? And how do these people deal with the inevitable challenges they face? Looking at Genoa via the idiosyncratic framework of New York City’s established informal market, this study of a growing, culturally infused city in the 21st century hopes—through the use of historical context, naturalistic observations, and interviews—to humanize these individuals’ experiences and give a look into their complex lives.

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The JUE is a peer-reviewed online journal that publishes original ethnographic research by undergraduates working in a variety of disciplines. Submissions are welcomed. Contact the Editor, Karen McGarry.

ISSN 2369-8721