Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

The Forks Market: Cosmopolitan Canopy, Conviviality, and Class

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Abstract:  This article contributes to scholarship on the varieties of co-existence expressed in urban public life by providing an analysis of cosmopolitan conviviality as it surfaces in the branded public space of The Forks Market in Winnipeg, Canada. Recently renovated to create an intimate food hall, the Market is framed as a “commons” to encourage sociability among patrons. It is also configured as an inclusive space where an urban multicultural clientele can gather and share in a variety of foodways. Drawing on empirical observational research, and paying attention to the Market’s material affordances, I argue that Forks Market patrons co-perform a kind of cosmopolitan conviviality comprising two key components: (a) convivial sociability, and (b) cosmopolitan openness. Exploring tensions between inclusivity and exclusivity, however, I maintain that such conviviality is marked by ambivalence linked to the Market’s operation as both a “cosmopolitan canopy” and a branded space with an emphasis on consumption. In particular, I consider how the “look” of the Market conveys a sense of authenticity with an “upscale” design oriented toward middle-class tastes.

Keywords:  class; consumption; conviviality; cosmopolitan canopy; cosmopolitanism



© Sonia Bookman. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.