Articles | Volume 69, issue 1
Standard article
03 Apr 2014
Standard article |  | 03 Apr 2014

Raumaneignungen, Regeln und Profite in Dhakas Feld des Straßenhandels – Sozialgeographische Erklärungsversuche auf Grundlage von Bourdieus Theorie der Praxis

B. Etzold

Abstract. The paper discusses street vendors' spatial appropriations and the governance of public space in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. The much debated question in social geography how people's position in social space relates to their position in physical space (and vice versa) stands at the centre of the analysis. I use Bourdieu's Theory of Practice to discuss this dialectic relation at two analytical levels. On a micro-political level it is shown that the street vendors' social positions and the informal rules of the street structure their access to public space and thus determine their "spatial profits". At a macro-political level, it is not only the conditions inside the "field of street vending" that matter for the hawkers, but also their relation to the state-controlled "field of power". The paper demonstrates that Bourdieu's key ideas can be linked to current debates about spatial appropriation and informality. Moreover, I argue that Bourdieu's theory builds an appropriate basis for a relational, critical, and reflexive social geography in the Urban South.