Social relations in urban petty production: market traders in Nyeri, Kenya

G. Ueda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper illuminates administrative and socio-economic aspects of often neglected street occupations in a middle-sized town in Kenya, Nyeri. The emphasis is put on revealing social relations of production and exchange among second-hand clothes traders and related economic actors. After reviewing the related literature, the study first describes the way in which urban administration has accommodated these traders within the urban spatial system through allocation of market stalls. Secondly, it demonstrates that their work is dependent on larger enterprises as well as the urban authorities, and that there exists the shift of opportunities for profit for the benefit of those with more capital and/or skills inside and outside the market. Then the paper examines work experience, farming activities and land purchase among selected market traders to show that their dependent work is not necessarily precarious as has been suggested. It also discusses the new gender division of labour in their urbanised households where both husband and wife engage in urban petty production. -from Author

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-106
Number of pages32
JournalScience Reports - Tohoku University, Seventh Series: Geography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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