Begging Rome: Norms at the margins, norms of the in-between

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In this article I argue that begging and beggary represents and must be analyzed through a twofold prism: as an economic exchange taking place at the margins but amply within the structures of the market economy and as a social relationship and cultural exchange that, due exactly to its in-between liminal nature, touches upon and generate central values; an exchange in which crucial norms are negotiated and established. Begging activities are just one example of how the market oriented economy intertwines with underground networks and “informal economies”, and how these interconnections produce implicit and explicit norms.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritique of Anthropology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)94-113
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2015


  • Exchange
  • reciprocity
  • moral economies
  • begging
  • Rome
  • Italy

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