An Economic Anthropology Blog
Gibson and Graham (2008) offers a framework to understand the diverse economic activities which are being practiced all around the world alongside the dominant 'capitalist' mode. The authors criticized the structural hegemony of capitalism rhetorically, "without its (capitalism) systemic embodiment, it appeared more like its less well-known siblings, as a set of practices scattered over a landscape - in families, neighborhoods, households, organizations, states, and private, public and social enterprises." By providing a lens including transaction, labor and enterprise the authors opens the wide window to perceive the diverse economy which is, according to my understanding anything but activities resulting individual profit maximization. The list of diverse economy is a never-ending activities starting with the unpaid care-work to helping neighbors during financial hardship. It seems that Belk's (2014) paper is based upon the call of Gibson and Graham about considering the diverse economy from ethical rather than structural point of view. Belk's paper shows how the universal ethics of sharing for survival and altruism can take different form in different social arrangements. The idea of collaborative consumption which is “the actand process of distributing what is ours to others for their use and/or the act and process of receiving or taking something from others for our use" is visible in everyday informal economy among low-income population (ROSCA) to high-tech, internet-savvy generation (Airbnb). Such collaborative consumption is being practiced in academia (Researchgate.com) or even our class blog-post where we are learning from each other by sharing our understanding!
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