Street markets of Mexico City: strategies for being and encountering with others

  • Frances Garnica Quinones

Student thesis: Phd


Grounded in fieldwork within a civil association of street vendors in Mexico City, my research interweaves ethnographic and historical approaches tobetter understand the ways people read and interpret each other ineveryday encounters. The study explores representations of street marketsin Mexico City's dominant discourses. Using field methods such asparticipant observation, filmmaking and street photography, I outline thebenefits and difficulties implicated in the assemblage of a periodic market inpublic spaces. I also trace the trajectories of street market participants inorder to understand the role and significance of street markets in theireveryday lives and existence in the city. I use the notion of 'trajectories'proposed by Massey to define street markets as places of encounters.Following daylight and the daily rhythm of the market, I relate socialinteractions with the nuances of living in the city.By exploring methods of verbal and non-verbal communication in socialinteractions in the street market such as dar vista and tantear, I examine thekind of socialities that emerge from these encounters. These practices ofcommunication also allow people to formulate social critiques about theways of living and socialising in a megacity.Finally, the website that accompanies the thesis,, isgrounded in the idea of trajectories. It aims to explore non-linear modes ofethnographic representation that can enhance and interrelate different waysof approaching and interpreting ethnographic data through a variety ofmeans, such as audiovisual media, mapping and hypermedia. I recommendthat one reads the thesis along with the hyperlinks given in particularsections, as a means to encourage the reader to make her own way toexplore the website and remaining chapters. The website is also available inthe complementary DVD entitled ''. To access thehome page, please open the DVD and click on the file: tianguis/index.html.Clicking on this file will open the web browser and allow for navigating thewebsite offline.
Date of Award1 Aug 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAndrew Irving (Supervisor) & Angela De Souza Torresan (Supervisor)


  • Trajectories
  • Digital Ethnography
  • Visual Anthropology
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Mexico City
  • Street markets
  • Urban Anthropology

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