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Social reproduction and everyday economy from below: informality, precarity and resistance

 On 30th June Econ Public  is organising a workshop for a special issue focused on the everyday economy from below. It engages in the development of resistance to neoliberal governance by examining processes of social reproduction that make and remake the economy. Based on ethnographic research, the papers develop insights into the economic structures and solidarity practices through which economies are constructed, from below, in both Argentina and Greece to demonstrate the ways that these practices can both resist and be captured by neoliberalism. Informal practices, which are often thought of as marginal, are demonstrated to be constitutive of the ‘formal’ economy. We demonstrate how such practices are important for neoliberal capital accumulation as well as increasingly precarious conditions in workplaces and everyday life (Cooper, 2015; Cederström and Fleming, 2012; Southwood, 2012). As such examining economies organised from below can demonstrate both collective organising practices, as well as new forms of precaritised or informalised labour conditions (Gago, 2014; 2015). These cases demonstrate the strength and necessity of organising from below for ordinary people. 


As such we hope to draw out in depth comparative work about these economies from the contemporary context of Argentina and Greece. A variety of scholars are taking part, but all of whom have focused on ethnographic research in these fields. Papers and contributions include:

  • "The financialization of popular life as a battlefield between order and crisis." Verónica Gago (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales).
  • "Organizing the Spaces of Everyday Life: The Territorial Organizing of the Unemployed Workers' Movements" Liz Mason-Deese (Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Mary Washington).
  • "Somos trabajadores no esclavos: clandestine migrant labour and everyday resistance in Buenos Aires" Nick Clare (Teaching Fellow, School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Leeds).
  • "Everyday life economics from below: markets as spaces of resistance, compromise and spaces to reclaim value production" Victoria Habermehl (Research Associate: Economics in the Public Sphere. Science and Technology University College London).
  • "Exploring the (re-)politicisation of the everyday urban economy: Workplace occupations and solidarity initiatives in contemporary Thessaloniki" Lazaros Karaliotas, (Urban Studies Post-Doctoral Fellow, Research Assistant, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow).
  • "Contentious spatialities in an era of austerity: neighbourhood struggles and grassroots alternatives in Athens, Greece" Athina Arampatzi (Post-doc Researcher, School of Geography, University of Leeds, UK).