Latino/a immigrant street vendors in Los Angeles: Photo-documenting sidewalks from 'back-home'

Lorena Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Street vending in Los Angeles is reconfigured, organized, and supported through the daily practices of Latina/o immigrants. Vendors physically transform the streets into public markets, utilizing sidewalks, fences, walls, parking lots, and benches in immigrant receiving neighbourhoods in Los Angeles. Street vending, as the most visual occupation of the informal economy, vendors depend on their visibility to be successful entrepreneurs, while as immigrants negotiate on going surveillance and policing of their bodies by the state and its apparatus. In this paper, I explore how the informal landscapes inhabited by Latina/o immigrants can be better understood through a process of visualisation. It is my argument that through the use of still photography as part of the research process, we can comprehend more fully how Latino immigrant's racialized bodies and their use of public space are visual processes integral to the production of ephemeral street vending landscapes in Los Angeles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSociological Research Online
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012

Keywords

  • Informal economy
  • Informal labour
  • Latino immigrants
  • Photo-documentation
  • Street vendors
  • Visual ethnography

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