Selling the city : trade, planning, and politics on the streets of São Paulo
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This study examines the political economy of street vending in São Paulo. It casts street vending as a field with its set of norms and its social structure. It analyzes how the boundary between licensed and unlicensed vendors was built over time through major political disruptions. It also examines how the structure of street vending shaped responses to a mass-eviction campaign carried out by the mayor of São Paulo between 2006 and 2012. And it teases out the impact of the World Cup, when unlicensed vendors used “subversive” tactics to take advantage of the event. Finally, this study dissects the attitudes of the Workers’ Party during negotiations with street vendors to reinstate licenses revoked by a previous administration. Overall, this dissertation offers a critique of policy proposals that advocate extending the rights of informal workers without taking into account the systems of unequal social relations in which informal economies are embedded.