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The disappearance of Bangkok's Artbox: examining the challenges of sustaining a mobile night market during the COVID-19 pandemic

Steve Kwok-Leung Chan (Department of Sociology, Keimyung University, Daegu, Republic of Korea)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 26 August 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023

34

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the reasons for the shutdown of a mobile night market during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of tourists was obviously one of the causes but social reasons must also exist. The study investigates territoriality, collectivization and human relations in urban social spaces which are essential for the sustainability of a market than solely short-term profit and unconnected customers.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study qualitative methods are used, including reviewing contents, semi-structured interviews with vendors and customers, and informant interviews.

Findings

Drawing from urban space theories, this paper argues that trendy markets catering for diverse market segments sustain their business. Once the market has shifted away from local Thai customers to main tourists, it loses its base and becomes vulnerable in territoriality negotiation.

Practical implications

The findings and model provide practice information for local authorities, town planners and night market operators in the design of open-air marketplaces. Such knowledge pinpoints the importance of connecting place and people in order to sustain a business.

Originality/value

Studies on mobile marketplaces are rare. The findings address the “detaching” process and consequence from the perspective of place attachment.

Peer review

The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/IJSE-04-2021-0218

Keywords

Citation

Chan, S.K.-L. (2023), "The disappearance of Bangkok's Artbox: examining the challenges of sustaining a mobile night market during the COVID-19 pandemic", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 50 No. 1, pp. 20-33. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-04-2021-0218

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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