After the 1997 financial crisis in Bangkok: The behaviour and implications of a new cohort of street vendors

Walsh, J and Maneepong, C 2012, 'After the 1997 financial crisis in Bangkok: The behaviour and implications of a new cohort of street vendors', Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 255-269.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title After the 1997 financial crisis in Bangkok: The behaviour and implications of a new cohort of street vendors
Author(s) Walsh, J
Maneepong, C
Year 2012
Journal name Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography
Volume number 33
Issue number 2
Start page 255
End page 269
Total pages 15
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Abstract After the 1997 financial crisis, many retrenched workers preferred not to return to provincial homes but remained in Bangkok to establish informal retail businesses in branded and other consumer products. In contrast to traditional street vendors, who specialized in food items primarily catering for low-income customers, and focused on high volume, these 'new generation' street vendors also adopted more formal business practices. Given their greater sophistication and better education, we hypothesized that they would be more organized advocates of vendors' rights and thus more prone to conflicts with municipal authorities. Based on interviews, however, we found that new generation vendors are adaptive to location and business strategy, and prefer a low profile in dealing with officialdom. By contrast, traditional vendors remained more tied to particular spaces, are more likely to stand up for their rights to use public space and, because they expect more from government, are more prone to conflicts with municipal authorities. Our findings relate to ongoing discussion on the rights and needs of street vendors to access urban public space and the responsibilities of authorities to meet and provide for these informal sector livelihoods that make up a significant share of the national economy in Thailand, as elsewhere in the global South.
Subject Urban Sociology and Community Studies
Keyword(s) Bangkok
Informal economy
Street vendors
Thailand
Urban governance
DOI - identifier 10.1111/j.1467-9493.2012.00464.x
Copyright notice © 2012 The Authors
ISSN 0129-7619
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