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When Culture Goes to Market

Space, Place, and Identity in an Urban Marketplace

Robert J. Shepherd

When Culture Goes to Market encompasses an ethnographic study of Washington, DC’s Eastern Market, a popular weekend produce and flea market, and the people who constitute it: vendors, market supervisors, and customers. By analyzing how this marketplace, in contrast to theoretical notions of «The Market», functions as a social institution embedded in a particular time, place, and series of social relationships, Shepherd examines how urban public space is produced, reproduced, and shaped by larger economic and social processes. In doing so, he explores the practical limits to formalized bureaucratic planning in the success of this street market. Crossing disciplinary boundaries, When Culture Goes to Market is an excellent practical case study for courses in urban planning, microeconomics, cultural studies, urban and economic anthropology, and sociology.