A New Social Street Economy: An Effect of The COVID-19 Pandemic: Volume 107

Cover of A New Social Street Economy: An Effect of The COVID-19 Pandemic
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Table of contents

(26 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xxv
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Part I: Dimensions of Street Economy, Social Economy, and Corona Crisis

Abstract

Corona has been used as a mask for the deepening crisis of the capitalist system. It deepened the damage of those who suffered the most from the system. It deepened the harm of precarious street workers even more, making living conditions difficult. Not enough resources were allocated to street workers, only pocket money and food packages. At the same time, the Corona crisis strengthened the streets, making the street more visible. Street workers prevented inflation by providing goods and food at low prices in poor neighbourhoods throughout the stay period. Many products with scarcity supplied by street workers. Millions of unemployed people became entrepreneurs in the form of new simple street jobs. Increasing number of street entrepreneurs attracted local governments. Local governments developed projects to regulate the sales by street vendors. Very small-scale street entrepreneurs also developed a sense of solidarity by establishing cooperatives among themselves. The surveys showed that the poor were in solidarity with street vendors. Even street vendors bought products directly from producers who could not sell their products, distributed for free in poor neighbourhoods or sold at half the price of markets. Street economy is the most important component of the social economy. It was once again understood that the streets are not a problem but, the system created the problem. Street economy is not a problem. It is a spontaneous solution to the problems and crises of capitalism.

Abstract

The Corona crisis today has made it possible to realise that the capitalist system has transformed human life and the entire planet into a commodity. The new ecological consciousness, which has risen with environmental destruction, is against the destructive and wasteful practices that exploit nature because of the attitudes and values associated with the capitalist worldview. Social solidarity and active participation in the society nourish the social economy. Social solidarity contains a meaning that ‘people in wealth give, people in need take’ style. This approach has shown to be an effective and common solidarity example both in Turkey also in the world during the Corona crisis. Social solidarity actually involves sharing resources equally or fairly. The corona epidemic has clearly demonstrated that an individualistic, self-interested approach of capitalism is not a life-saving strategy, but a socialist, solidarist approach, an approach that promotes the survival and health of the other is a life-saving strategy for all. A new cosmological and anthropological approach will be the formula of salvation, based on a social economy system in the post-corona world, which can see that life in nature, including humans, is protected through cooperation, mutual care and love. Capitalism will again come out of this crisis by adding billionaires to its billionaires, but different civilisations such as workers, producers and consumer cooperatives, solidarity networks, and street economy that grow in the heart of capitalism are the signs that we are progressing towards the evolution of the social economy.

Abstract

Although the concept of ‘social capital’ is not a new concept, its rise coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic. This concept of sociology, left in a controversial and secondary position, was reborn both in the social, political and economic fields and in the scientific world, with the increase of the COVID-19 outbreak cases. Social capital is a form of socialisation and a way of performing social relationships. The COVID-19 outbreak led to the understanding that physical capital and human capital would not be sufficient to sustain social life, and, therefore, social capital started to rise. The expected private earning from social capital is not individual profit, but collective welfare and mutual benefit. In short, social capital is the capital spent on society and is for common good. On the other hand, social capital has a volume in proportion to the density of the capitals in the society. Social capital, with its intensity, has attracted the attention of different disciplines on Corona days and has exceeded the limits of sociology. Another issue to be emphasised in this study is the relationship between social capital and democracy. In societies where tutelary democracy is dominant, civil society cannot become functional enough. In this difficult environment, social capital is shaped as paternal (tutelary) and a healthy social network cannot be functionalised in society. On the one hand, the horrors of the pandemic are experienced, and, on the other hand, a social capital model that is ineffective in healing social wounds emerges.

Abstract

The pandemic entering our lives globally challenges us to think about questions related to the cities and new forms of social life as the cities are never seen last any longer without a crisis. There have been various debates among philosophers on this issue. Some philosophers reject the new administration policies by claiming that the ‘physical distance’ required for health has been used for power under the name of ‘social distance’ with the custody of the street and point out that these policies have created new forms of control, among economically, politically, and socially. Some others are more hopeful and believe that the crisis can build a new economic and social life; it can be an opportunity to find a new starting point; especially from being confined in the pandemic process. The author will refer to Agamben’s thoughts to understand how the state of exception turned into a rule and how it affects street politics. In this context, COVID-19 is seen as a ‘state of exception’ that normalises all the dominative practices, strengthens sovereignty by designing the social/economical life like a camp. In the pandemic process, people were accustomed to isolation by the administrations under the name of social distance, just like in a camp life. At this point, Agamben’s analysis should be understood in relation to a biopolitical paradigm and can be expanded to reflect on street economy, street politics, and the life of cities.

Abstract

An Innocent Merriment – A Medieval Song about the Plague also sheds light on the COVID-19 epidemic period as an epidemic song. Companies are not in solidarity; they are trying to replace artificial intelligence with labour. Short work, more rest, more time for children, strong immune system, happy families are easier with artificial intelligence. Using artificial intelligence against labour condemns us to collective stupidity. The slogan of capitalism has been discussed in the prime centres of globalisation. For the financial centre, globalisation is the unimpeded circulation of money across borders, the transfer of its earnings whenever it wants, and not encountering national barriers. Now it is said that there should be customs for goods and a mobility barrier for people. People will not accept this without injuring their conscience. The Wat Tyler rebellion, which erupted after the Black Death following the Great Famine, was the birth pain of the bourgeoisie. The war against the mystical, irrational world of the Middle Ages strengthened the bourgeoisie. The irrational ideas of the bourgeoisie, which today emulate the aristocracy with admiration, open the way for despots; the bourgeoisie is almost preparing its own end. The bourgeoisie led the great transformations by preaching respect for labour in the footsteps of thinkers such as Wat Tyler, A. Smith, J. Locke. However, the leadership cannot be sustained with the feudal capitalist mood: ‘Liberty, equality, fraternity’ is still alive, except for the leader! The understanding of ‘the better always can be in a shorter time’ in the economy made humanity unhappy and filled its time. Based on the household economy, the environmentally friendly core economy can be a solution by opening the door to street workers and disadvantaged groups, as the flood of solidarity in every corner of our planet adds strength and morale to our resilience.

Abstract

With COVID-19, while questioning the coverage areas, duties, and functionality of objects that are indispensable for our lives, we see that objects destroy the weak and the design itself eliminates the non-immune and the weak in some cases. In this process, it is of great importance to reconsider design for the reason of existence of humanity and to develop new design concepts from a holistic perspective. The decolonisation of design, social innovation, and transformations of production and consumption forms in relation to the crisis are possible with speculative design approaches. In the new world order, designing forward-looking nanotechnologies with measureless and extraordinary scenarios will be the beginning of new alternatives. Emergency situations overcome the fluid modernity in our lives and the new developing normality is possible with design projects covering emergency situations. While each crisis creates its opportunities in itself, transition design needs to be planned by adopting an interdisciplinary understanding of how to initiate and direct change in social and natural systems through design. In this study, the reconstruction of COVID-19 social distance alerts on objects in the light of science and technology will be examined.

Abstract

The art started to pause in our city due to ‘Corona’. While it is already dying for economic, cultural, and political reasons, it has been thoroughly covered by the COVID-19 outbreak. In our city, which we consider young and modern, Mersin University Faculty of Fine Arts and Toros University Faculty of Fine Arts provide art education and hundreds of students graduate each year. In this epidemic process, there is no movement towards art in the city when the young population returns to their homes or to cities with their families. No wonder people started to rely on machines rather than nature after the epidemic. It almost halved the human lineage on our planet. Scientists, physicians, economists, and explorers have devoted themselves to destroying or weakening natural forces that would hinder the development of humanity for 300 years. The human race fought nature and upper organisms with railways, dams, engines, antibiotics, and atomic bombs. The painters documented the epidemic by producing pictures on the subject of the epidemic. Now we have to face the threats such as the warming of the world and environmental pollution, the epidemic every day. In this entire confrontation process, the lessons conducted online in our city have been tried to be shown as virtual exhibitions under the name of online. The contributions of this process in the context of ‘art’ and ‘the city’ have been examined and the results will be evaluated.

Part II: Applications and Practices of Street Economy in the Corona Pandemic

Abstract

The spread of COVID-19 has shaken people’s lives around the globe in an extraordinary way, threatening health, disrupting economic activity, and spreading fear and anxiety. However, the outbreak originated as a public health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has also developed into a global economic crisis, with severe and potentially lasting impacts on employment and trade. The chapter investigates the changing dynamics of street economy during the COVID-19 era. In this study, one of the biggest but overlooked stakeholders of the street economy, municipality’s perception through the constables regarding the street vendors will be investigated. It is known that the worldwide epidemic of COVID has caused such problems as layoffs, depreciation of money, the global crisis, foreign trade coming to a halt, and, thus, it reduces individuals’ purchasing power. Therefore, it is considered that the number of individuals who are parties to the street economy has increased. This research aims to understand and discuss how COVID-19 has been affected to the street economy from the point of view of the constables, who are one of the most important stakeholders of the issue. A qualitative depth interviews were conducted to the constables of İzmir Municipality in Turkey. A semi-structured interview questions were applied and the data were analysed with the NVIVO program to understand the changing dynamics of street economy during the COVID-19 era in Turkey. The research aims to support and guide the local authorities with fresh data from the field regarding the changing characteristics of street economy.

Abstract

All sectors have been affected economically due to the COVID-19 epidemic that we have experienced since the beginning of 2020. As a natural reflection of this, we know that unemployment is rising. The street economy is both a shelter for the workforce pushed from other sectors and for the existing workers. However, we do not know much about the current situation and problems of this industry all over the world. Of course, the investment required to determine with full accuracy the components of the street economy (how many people, where they work, and what are the characteristics of these people), which have a very dynamic structure, are usually based on social needs, is very large. However, by photographing the street economy on a regional basis, today the need to regulate this sector, which has more impact on the mental and physical health of both the individual and society than ever before, is strongly manifested. In this study, a systematic layout proposal was tried to be proposed for this arrangement.

Abstract

Indian economy is based on the unorganised sector. The mayhem created to the daily earner on the streets of Delhi. Once it was considered that the street vending was one of the easiest occupations for the survival of the people living in the lowest ladder in the economy. Anyone who does not have any means of earning can espouse vending as profession as it has societal sanction and acceptability in terms of diversity and universalistic point of view. In search of better livelihood, people used to migrate from rural India to urban metros like Delhi. The analysis of the pre-conditions of the street vendors will help us to have a glimpse of prior COVID-19 situation in the region. Now, this chapter tries to debate on the kind of adaptability that street vendors needed post COVID-19 era. An informal interview conducted with the street vendors help us to comprehend their preparedness for their adaptability to survive. This chapter also tries to discuss some of the programmes and policies that can be a lifeline for the street vendors during the post COVID-19 era.

Abstract

The Corona Pandemic, also known as the COVID-19, which gripped the entire world from the beginning of 2020, has been hitting Afghanistan, which has already been facing socio-economic, health, educational, and safety problems starting in the pre-pandemic period, very hard. The number of people who were contracted by the virus and perished in this regard reached biblical proportions. Due to the insufficiency in the practice of family physician and in the coverage of social security in addition to the economic problems, all of which had been present in the pre-pandemic period, many Afghani citizens are having challenges in accessing main foodstuff, medicine and drinkable water. On top of that, the state offered no practice in terms of supporting its citizens financially even during the pandemic. In this study, in line with the information and reports, provided by the Afghani State and the international institutions, the experiences that Afghanistan has been living through this pandemic as well as the economic and, therefore, social events that the country shall face in the upcoming period is analysed. Furthermore, in this work, the actions and the impact of the foreign imperialists that invaded the country in addition to the state and the terrorist organisations, which pose a great threat against the security of this nation, are discussed.

Abstract

Outbreaks are in the category of biological disasters amongst geological, climatic, biological social/human, and technological disasters. This study has been examined under the category of biological disasters, since the opposite has not been proven definitively from the beginning of the epidemic process of Corona. The hypothesis of our study is based on the fact that disadvantaged groups of people carry out a serious struggle for survival during epidemic periods. Due to the necessity of certain and fundamental solutions regarding this fact, in the last part of our study, suggestions were made on how these groups, including street vendors, can participate in the management. Disadvantaged groups are the groups most affected by these crises in times of local, regional, national, or international disasters and crises. These are categorised into the poor, children, women victims of violence, disabled people, elderly people, immigrants, addicts, and chronic patients. Our study focussed on the poor (those who work informally) and immigrants (immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees) from these disadvantaged groups. In particular, the poor and immigrants can be provided with dominant missions in the provision and distribution of public goods and/or services carried out by states through the central or local government, and the process can be completed much more successfully. For example, particularly, in the distribution of aid, in the formation of response teams, in the feeding of street animals, in public administration, etc. It is possible for them to participate in the management of public goods and service provision in other very important tasks. This level of participation can be directly executive.

Abstract

Whilst the COVID-19 epidemic, whose effects still continue to be experienced, takes a wide place on the agenda of countries and cities, the social, economic, and political effects of the crisis have been deepening. Especially in terms of women and children who have moved further away from the public area with the epidemic causing poverty, violence, deprivation, etc. The deficit is growing even more. On the other hand, public policies need to show their reflexes rapidly and show their power to prevent, eliminate, and remedy any kind of deficit and negativity. In this context, the role and responsibility of local governments is increasing day by day. On the basis of sustainable development, it is important for local governments to prefer urban policies based on gender equality. In this study, the third largest city in Turkey, in crisis management during COVID-19, policies, and practices on behalf of women in Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, is analysed by gender equality perspective. The research question is investigating the policies and recommendations of women’s organisations and leading institutions and individuals on gender equality in İzmir, on crisis management in the city. This work is carried out with a feminist research approach and analysed using qualitative analysis techniques. In-depth interviews were held with bureaucrats and political decision makers, who are involved in the decision-making mechanisms of the municipality, leading women in the city and NGO representative women who are actively involved in these processes. A semi-structured question form was used during the interviews.

Part III: Reflections on Street Economy

Abstract

Street economy is the presentation of commercial, artistic goods, and services in streets, sidewalks, squares, public spaces, and other open spaces, without being bound to a fixed place, by standing or walking. Although there are not many written studies on the street economy and the issue has started to come to the agenda yet, it has made it difficult to provide sources in this field. One of the examples of a micro entrepreneurship in which we encounter in everyday life often comes from street vendors. As micro entrepreneurs, their having having social rights and security is an important issue both for Turkey and also the world. In this context, the purpose of the study is to determine the level of behaviour and attitudes of the citizens living in Amasya and Bursa provinces against – the street economy – the workforce space where society witnesses one-on-one. Research within itself includes the examination of written documents, observation, and interview methods. The information obtained was evaluated based on the questionnaire. Document scanning, survey study and data collection, interviews with street vendors, and citizens living in the provinces were conducted in Turkish and English between 2016 and 2020. The study included 79 people in total, 59.5% from Amasya and 40.5% from Bursa. The obtained data as a result of the research were evaluated through the SPSS statistical program, the findings obtained were interpreted through tables, the results of the two provinces were compared, and various suggestions were made.

Abstract

Turkey has witnessed the mass migration movement of Syrian citizens fleeing the Syrian civil war. These people have been defined as ‘foreigners under temporary protection’. However, the UN Convention does not include temporary protection or similar definitions in relation to migrants, refugees, and asylums and accepts them as migrant workers. In our country, people under temporary protection, whose majority is composed of Syrians work in informal jobs. The most important document aiming at granting legal rights to people who are found in a country without any legal position or who is identified as an irregular worker, not as an employee and migrant worker, is the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Their Families. Turkey has become a party to this document. The UN Convention gives immigrant workers and family members a wide range of protective rights, such as work, settlement, education, and trade union rights. In this chapter, the positions of foreigners in temporary protection who are trying to make a living by collecting recyclable materials such as mostly paper, etc., which is defined as a part of the street economy, will be discussed in terms of the provisions of the UN Convention.

Abstract

There is a Turkish proverb commonly used for gratitude: ‘nothing so bad but it might have been worse’. Actually, how worse the situation can get for the children living and working on the street as an image of visible poverty of the cities. The children who settle in the streets, who live in the streets, who work or force to work in the streets are the ones affected by the negativeness that COVID-19 created. Their living conditions became harder and crueller. Children who live and work on the streets have not only had socio-economic problems but also educational medical problems, etc. It is a social truth that these children are the most affected disadvantaged group in the battle of pandemic. In this context, especially before and after pandemic, how the life is affected and the change that it brings is very remarkable. However, the detrimental effect on the negativity in societal terms is inevitable. In this study, children living, working, and being forced to work in the streets are defined cognitively, their status quo in the society, their form of life, their educational, medical, criminal, and family cultural relationships are described; evaluation of pandemic process’s influences on ‘the new normal’, the social change and transformation in regarding to human and child rights are discussed.

Abstract

The presence of child labour in the world and Turkey is an undeniable social fact. There are various regulations regarding the protection of children both in international documents and in our national legislation. However, in the context of the street economy, some legal regulations, especially the occupational health and safety of children working on the street, remain incapable in terms of implementation. In this study, child labour regulations of various international organisations, including the International Labor Organization relating to child labour will be examined first, and then the existing regulations on child labour in Turkey in our working legislation will be analysed and explained. A number of actions that children working on the street who are street vendors tend to take, such as shining shoes, selling handkerchiefs, and begging, will be discussed in detail and the legal dimension will be examined. In addition, some legal changes will be addressed, such as the lack of a uniform regulation on the minimum working age and the confusion of child labour and child labour concepts. Finally, in the pandemic process that affects the whole world, the measures that are thought to be useful in terms of protecting children working on the street from the COVID-19 epidemic will be tried to be explained in the context of occupational health and safety law.

Abstract

Sexual politics, in other terms, affecting sexuality to a political attribution can be traced back to the rise of class society. Politics may be defined as the methods, tactics, and strategies applied to maintain the continuity of a system. When sexual politics are handled in the context of the subject of this work, the relationship between the sexes manifests itself as the domination of one gender (masculine) on the other (feminine). The patriarchal ideology, which determines the relationship between women and men, has also a deeply rooted sexual culture on how the sexual relationship between two people (hetero or homosexual) should be interpreted. In this work, the sociological meaning of offering sexuality against money or any other benefit will be questioned. In this study, a total of 44 women have been interviewed in depth, 31 of whom work in brothels, and 13 on the street. In this perspective, the working conditions of the women in the prostitution market have been considered on the bases of pimp-woman, lover (dost)-woman, and client-woman relations. Based on the study findings, the assumption that the exploiting of women will be eliminated by improving the working conditions in the prostitution market means not only normalising the public thought which will expose the women to all kinds of use, but also disregarding the mechanisms that force women to practice prostitution and remain helpless, and creating gender inequality.

Abstract

Street vendors are defined as the person who does not work in a certain sales place, goes to the place where the consumer is located and offers her goods for sale. In this chapter, the rights and regulations of street vendors are examined in terms of Municipality Law, Municipal Police Law and Misdemeanors Law. According to sub-clause (m) of Article 15 of the Municipality Law No. 5393, it is the duty of the municipality to prevent peddlers who sell without permission in order to develop and register the economy and trade in the town. According to the article 10 (c-5) of the Municipal Police Law, it is the duty of the municipal police to ban the peddlers who sell in the streets, parks and squares in violation of the legislation and health conditions. But during the pandemic, almost all street vendors such as bagel sellers, chestnut and corn sellers, water sellers and all kinds of peddlers suffered a great loss of income like other professions. Confiscating goods and looms is often not a solution; these people perform the same job again after a certain period of time. The solution is to register and include peddling and street vending, which are important elements of the informal economy, in the tax system.

Abstract

Street workers, including street vendors, buskers, and waste pickers, constitute around 10–20% of the total working population of the world. Yet they are often denied their right to organise, they cannot exercise their right to be represented in decisions that directly affect their lives and futures. The entries in this chapter gathered from the leaders of street vendors associations and media representatives throughout the world, reflect their struggles to organise, to maintain a livelihood and to survive in pandemic conditions. Arbind Singh and César García Arnal give a profile of the street vendors in India and Spain respectively and explore how social and solidarity economy, a concept that, however, is still not clear to some experts in the field offers a solution to the problems rising after Corona pandemic. Evren Laçin tells the story of the foundation of the Street Vendors Association of İzmir and explains how it provides a great example to other municipalities across Turkey by bringing the ‘street economy’ model to our city and making life a part of the street. Dinçer Mendillioğlu, on the other hand, bring out the story of the Association of Recycling Workers, which is the first of its kind and which is established by the recycling workers or waste pickers, who are clinging to life by collecting paper and waste materials from the streets. Journalist Kasım Akan provides an example from Erzurum, where street vendors grow and sell inexpensive vital products that the lower income group can easily access during Corona crisis days.

Part IV: Summing Up

Index

Pages 299-306
Content available
Cover of A New Social Street Economy: An Effect of The COVID-19 Pandemic
DOI
10.1108/S1569-37592021107
Publication date
2021-07-15
Book series
Contemporary Studies in Economic and Financial Analysis
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-80117-124-3
eISBN
978-1-80117-123-6
Book series ISSN
1569-3759