KNOWLEDGE SITS IN PLACES: THE VERNACULARITY AND EMPLACEMENT OF FISH MARKETS IN SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES
Nelson N. Turgo - Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom
Abstract: Markets sit in places and knowledge produced in these places also constitute the very foundation of markets’ viability and market actors’ performative competitive edge. However, not all markets are created equal primarily in the context of their importance in the global economy. Thus conceived, we imagine a world economy or markets populated by people in front of wide computer screens making sense of financial algorithms and derivatives. In a way, here, we see a market that is run by codified knowledge, or scientific knowledge that transcends boundaries. But what about a conception of market that recognizes the production of knowledge in the periphery, and this instance, fish markets, where place-based knowledge marks the contours of engagement of fishmongers to their wider world and yet, concomitantly, also underscores their attachment to place? In this article, in an ethnographic study of four fish markets in a small coastal town in southern Philippine, fishmongers engage with market processes via their production and deployment of vernacular knowledge which is performed in the form of public specialized knowledge, tacit knowledge and network knowledge. In these forms of vernacular knowledge, we become cognizant of the complexities of market processes even in places that are relegated to the margins, where knowledge plays a crucial role in sensing the world and making it lived and real.
Keywords: Auction, Fish Market, Fishing Community, Modernity, Philippines, Vernacular Knowledge