Tropical Geography ›› 2023, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (6): 1111-1122.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003693

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Production of Street Vendors' Space around the University from the Perspective of Everyday Life Practice

Hao Huang(), Xing Huang(), Yuanyi Xie, Hengzhi Song, Kunsheng Luo   

  1. School of Architecture, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, China
  • Received:2022-03-10 Revised:2022-10-25 Online:2023-06-05 Published:2023-07-10
  • Contact: Xing Huang;


Informal sectors and the production of space are two popular topics in academic research in the 21st century. However, the production and reshaping of space due to the everyday life force of street vendors have been neglected in previous studies, as have relevant studies on university boundaries. Street vendor spaces around colleges have several characteristics that make them an ideal place for space research. A provider of midnight snack services enriches students' lives in college and creates a special atmosphere to promote relationships among students. Nanting Avenue and Guoyi East Road, known as the fifth canteen at the Guangdong University of Technology in the Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, were used as case studies. Qualitative research methods, such as semi-structured interviews, participatory observation, and literature analysis, were used to determine the space formation process at three levels: power, physical, and social. By reenacting slices of street vendors' everyday lives, this study analyzed the features, processes, and mechanisms of street vendors' anti-discipline and the social forces of relevant stakeholders in the production of space. Street vendors' everyday life practices, which reshape the boundary spaces of universities, are further discussed. The findings were as follows: 1) The flow of street vendors around universities shows special spatiotemporal regularity and provides dynamic changes in multi-subject powers hidden in the production of space. 2) Street vendors fought for the right to utilize public space through anti-disciplinary strategies such as withdrawal, hiding, and informal cooperation. Meanwhile, the social relationship between street vendors and student support promoted the long-term collaboration of the resistance force. 3) The confrontation and support of multiple subjects formed a delicate balance, and the continuous reconstruction of the spatial order around universities was demonstrated. Simultaneously, the cultural attributes of street vendors were embedded in students' original social spaces. The process of the production of space showed the dynamic change of power in street vendor spaces around universities, which implied the abundance of everyday life. This study attempts to extend the theory of everyday life practice dialectically on a microscopic scale. The initiative and enthusiasm of street vendors in daily life can be guided and utilized in urban management, which provides a new way to alleviate the problems left by the construction history of the Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center.

Key words: university area, street vendors, street vendor culture, street vendors' anti-discipline, practice of everyday life, production of space, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center

CLC Number: 

  • TU981