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The Postcolonial ContemporaryPolitical Imaginaries for the Global Present$
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Jini Kim Watson and Gary Wilder

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823280063

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823280063.001.0001

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Buenos Aires’s La Salada Market and Plebeian Citizenship

Buenos Aires’s La Salada Market and Plebeian Citizenship

Chapter:
(p.224) Ten: Buenos Aires’s La Salada Market and Plebeian Citizenship
Source:
The Postcolonial Contemporary
Author(s):

Carlos A. Forment

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823280063.003.0011

This study of La Salada, renamed by Cuartel’s residents as the “poor people’s shopping mall,” was founded in the early 1990’s at the height of neoliberalism by several dozen undocumented Bolivian immigrants and Argentine street hawkers in a pauperized, stigmatized and disenfranchised district near the city of Buenos Aires. By the early 2000’s, La Salada occupied a central place in public life in Cuartel and beyond; the European Union described it as “emblematic of counterfeit markets,” among the ten worst of its kind. In studying this market and the network of satellite ‘Saladitas’ that have proliferated in hundreds of neighborhoods across the country, my aim is to analyze the way the structural poor and recently impoverished middle class transformed themselves into citizens and have contributed to the emergence of a new form of life: plebeian democracy. In dialogue with Partha Chatterjee's work on 'governmentalized populations' in the global south, my discussion highlights some of the particular and distinctive features of plebeianism in contemporary Buenos Aires and its implications for the future of democratic life across the global south.

Keywords:   Argentina, Citizenship, Global South, La Salada, Plebeianism

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