Call for Papers: Small-scale Retailing and the City in the 20th Century
Specialist Session at the 7th International Conference on Urban History: European City in Comparative Perspective, Athens, 27-30 October 2004
Although the advent of the modern consumer society was accompanied with(and partly caused by) innovations in retailing like the department store and the chain stores, ‘traditional’ methods of retailing continued to have an important share in the total distribution of consumption goods. In the shadow of the ‘cathedrals of consumption’ small shopkeepers, pedlars and street-vendors continued to earn their (meagre) living. Their numbers decreased in the long run, but this trend was halted or even reversed in certain periods – for instance during the 1930s and the 1980s. Moreover, retailing was a sector within the urban economy in which immigrants and minorities managed to make a living throughout the 20th century.
This session of five papers aims at comparing the importance of small and marginal retailing in several European cities (with each other and possibly with American or Asian cities) by addressing the following questions:
What was the quantitative importance of small-scale retailing (in terms of market shares) in different urban settings?
What part of the urban population was involved in the different forms of small retailing?
How stable was small retailing and what factors caused the changes in the distribution system?
How was spatial distribution of small retailing in the 20th-century cities?
What was the importance of immigrants and minorities in small retailing?
To participate, please submit a proposal containing 500-600 words before 1 OCTOBER 2003.
All papers should be precirculated and paper givers should anticipate talking to their paper for 5-10 minutes followed by discussion.
Thimo de Nijs
P.O. Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)