Market day in Provence

No matter how unoriginal stallholders’ products may be, they have to seem to be for local folk.  It is crucial that the winemaker from Caromb buy his Pataugas [basic country walking shoes] on the market, the Sanit-Didier road mender his balaclava, and that everyone see them do so, even if not many do the same.  That way everyone can feel they have participated in that Friday morning’s local-life event.  Moreover, "foreigners" like the idea of buying market products precisely because they are perceived to be used by natives.

That is from Michele de la Pradelle’s Market Day in Provence.  This book is not easy to summarize, but it is one of the three or four best economic ethnographies I have read.  You will find more information, including an excerpt, here.


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