Departmental Bulletin Paper <Articles>Feeding a Crowd: Hybridity and the Social Infrastructure behind Street Food Creation in Bandung, Indonesia

Malasan, Prananda Luffiansyah

6 ( 3 )  , pp.505 - 529 , 2017-12 , Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
Based on ethnographic research on street vendors' activities in Bandung city, this article attempts to uncover the production process of street food. Drawing on Simone's (2004) idea of people as infrastructure, the research focuses on street vending activities as a conjunction of heterogeneous activities and modes of production that becomes a platform to support the vendors' livelihood: for example, the ways in which vendors achieve efficiency in street food production. We need to consider, however, the roles of various actors surrounding the street vending activities that directly or indirectly contribute to the production process of street food, as well as the large network that is created as social infrastructure. This network is an outcome of the ability of vendors, for example, to engage in convivial interactions with customers, to create an intimate relationship with food suppliers, and to engage in "a form of labor exchange" with their neighbors. This article argues that such hybrid contributions on the part of street vendors are their efforts to stabilize the network in a fluid and adaptable way that makes a social infrastructure possible.

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