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Academic Special Session: Ethnography & Degrowth

Rethinking socioeconomic alternatives in the Global North

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What happens when the theories of Degrowth are put into practice? Which are the main problems Degrowth activists have to deal with in their daily life? What kind of tensions and difficulties emerge? How resistant are their proposals to such factors as the economic mainstream structures, the mainstream values, the bureaucratic requirements, and the legal frameworks? We think that more than 15 years after the takeoff of the Degrowth movement as we know it today (Kallis et al, 2015) it is an appropriate moment to evaluate the relation between theory and practice.

The goal of this special session is to analyse how the projects which aim to create “an alternative to development” in Global North, sometimes following cosmovisions from other cultures, face internal and external constrains in their daily life. Are those initiatives, as Fotopoulos (2006, 2000) argues, a part of the problem instead of being a part of the solution? Far from approaching the issue from a theoretical point of view, we would like to discuss these questions from the perspective of ethnographic fieldwork. We encourage researchers to send proposals based on the ethnographic insight and related to:

- Community-based initiatives, as eco-communities or back-to-the-landers communities, with special emphasis in “rurban” or rural spaces
- Economic initiatives, as cooperatives and community currencies, which do not put emphasis on market economy
- Grassroots initiatives & social movements that attempt to change social order through such values as ‘sharing’, ‘simplicity’, ‘conviviality’, ‘care’ and ‘commons’.


Day: 2018-08-23
Start time: 14:00
Duration: 01:30
Room: ABF (202)
Track: Organisational and Organising Practices



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