Market formation in subsistence contexts: a study of informal waste trade in Tanzania and Brazil

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46 Citations (Scopus)


The world’s low-income majority is increasingly seen as a new market, the baseof-the-pyramid (BOP) market, with opportunities for new business and poverty reduction through inclusive business. This has led to research on activities geared towards this market, such as strategies for market entry and BOP business model design. However, the market itself as a dynamic entity has not been problematized. This paper suggests that defining markets in subsistence contexts as ongoing processes of economic organizing and as bundles of practices, rather than as collections of people, offers additional tools for engaging in their realisation. The empirical study of informal waste trade practices suggests that the emergence of a market is linked to the economic organizing process moving from being dominated by exchange practices towards a more diversified dynamic in which these practices become linked to normalizing and representational practices. This more diversified market dynamic is intimately connected to collective organizing efforts on behalf of subsistence market actors.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalConsumption, Markets and Culture
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)235-257
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 01.06.2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • KOTA2012


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