Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences

Document Type



This paper examines the anthropology of markets and shopping practices in Mercado Pino Suárez, a traditional indoor market located in the historic center of Mazatlán, Mexico. The research objective of this anthropological fieldwork is to investigate how markets are a center for social relationships that influence shopping and consumption practices. Sociability between consumers and vendors is significant, as it represents the traditional market. The field research is a two-month- long summer project to understand why people shop at the market, with a major focus on shopping for food-related products. Interviews and participant observation, including participation as a consumer and as a volunteer vendor, support observations of social shopping practices that occur within the market. Shoppers attend the market for various reasons, such as convenience, price, and quality of produce; however, this paper will show how shoppers visit the market for the experience of socializing, which contributes to familiarity and trust from knowing vendors and their products. Shopper and vendor interactions go beyond economic reasons to create social influences in the participants’ daily lives, illustrating the market’s strong effect in shaping local culture.