Dissertation Abstracts

Sociology of Markets: A Study of Local Weekly Markets of Delhi

Author: Chowdhary, Suvrata , Suvrata.soc@presiuniv.ac.in
Department: Centre for the Study of Social Systems
University: Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Supervisor: V. Sujatha
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Sociology of markets
Areas of Research: Economy and Society , Migration , Work


Through my doctoral research I am trying to explore interlink ages between market and society and how it informs other related dimension of work and class relations in a developing society. For the purpose of my study I have chosen local weekly markets of Delhi as a case in point. I have tried to find ways in which local weekly markets of Delhi (a traditional style of physical market place held on particular days of week for limited hours in different neighbourhoods) provide a very viable and sustainable means of livelihood for people. These local weekly markets have assumed significant presence in the capital city of Indian subcontinent which is continuously expanding if we take account of various satellite towns that have emerged around it hence increasing the number of migrants coming to the city in search of livelihood and subsequently many of them land up in these markets as itinerant sellers of various goods and services. Decline of the rural economy coupled with lack of employment in the manufacturing sector (organized sector) created a vast pool of surplus labour in the country in the post reform period. This multitude of labour started migrating to urban centres in search of employment and many of them landed up with self employment in the service sector of which retailing forms a huge part. Weekly markets fall under the rubric of informal sector/economy rendering them invisible on many counts. In this context the objective of my research is to present a socio-economic analysis of these markets and explore how this economic space created by people can be read out in the ongoing debate on development, displacement, industrialisation, poverty and livelihood in various developing countries of South Asia.