Sociologie Românească, Vol. III, no. 3/2005, pp. 147-157.
Negoț și neguțători la Piața Progresul din București
Trade and traders in Progresul Market in Bucharest
Abstract (Rezumat în limba engleză): This article deals with the problems of marketplaces in Eastern Europe, within the theoretical framework of the economic anthropology and with an ethnographic focus on the Progresul Marketplace in Bucharest. The author is considering the hypothesis of the open-air trade as a laboratory or a workshop in re-learning the capitalist economy in Romania as well as in the other East European countries. The field data highlight that, despite of a high degree of informality, the open-air markets allow the development of some mechanisms specific to the market economy, such as the direct negotiation, credit relationships, trading specialisation by distinguishing the wholesale from the retail trade, investments etc. Applied anthropology is able, in relation to such processes, to undertake a mediation between the specialists of the open-air commerce and the public authorities responsible of the peaceful process of this trade. The attempt of conceptualising the open-air market relationships can go beyond the debate of the patterns of economic integration by focusing on the typology of traders and marketplaces, by pointing out the role of innovation in the making of profit, as well as by understanding distribution in terms of networks (instead of units) of consumption.