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Turin-Dakar: goods in transit: ethnography of a comercial circuit

Grant number: 15/15698-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 29, 2015
Effective date (End): July 28, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal Investigator:Omar Ribeiro Thomaz
Grantee:Vanessa Elisa Margherita Maria Durando
Supervisor: Pier Paolo Viazzo
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Università degli Studi di Torino (UNITO), Italy  
Associated to the scholarship:12/13354-2 - Turin-Dakar: goods in transit: ethnography of a comercial circuit, BP.DR


Since the middle of the 1980s Italy has hosted immigrants of diverse origins that came especially in search of new work opportunities. Amongst this diverse group, Senegalese immigration is known for development of autonomous and entrepreneurial work. Amongst the activities developed by these migrants, commerce is the most prominent, both as a source of revenue and for its symbolic meanings. Considered a "way of being" (Castagnone et al., 2005), commerce, and especially pedler commerce, represented throughout time an alternative that, through the remittances of money, guaranteed the sustenance of families in the country of origin. If traditionally Senegalese venders in Italy commercialized artisan objects from their home country (such as wooden sculptures, clothes, necklaces, shoes, etc), today they integrate this practice with the sale, to Senegal (in the opposite direction), of used and obsolete objects in the Italian market. The buying and selling of used goods, a result of the surplus in the European market to extra-European countries, is a relatively new occurrence (since the 90s) practiced by diverse groups of immigrants (especially of African origin). Our proposal is to perform an ethnographic study of one of these commercial routes that goes from Turin to Dakar. This will be the first study about this commercial practice in the Italian context.

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