Subjects of the Economy
Kelly Dombroski, Rochelle Stewart Withers, Trisia Farrelly
Much has been written about families and their influence on relationships and research in fieldwork, yet seldom has the absence of family in the field received analytical attention. The authors of this paper contribute to an emerging ‘anthropology of absence’ in a number of ways: We direct the focus of absence away from our participants to reflect on our own children’s absences in the field; we attend to the absence of individual persons whereas work in this field predominantly focuses on material objects and ethnic groups; we argue that the embodied traces felt in our children’s absence make mother-child relationships unique to other unaccompanied fieldwork experiences; we illustrate the relational and contingent character of absence as absence/presence as we examine the agency of our children’s absence on the process and product of our field research; and we reflect on how our children’s absence/presence in the field alters our subjectivities as mother-researchers.
This paper explores the territoriality and politics of birth. Engaging with debates that are largely polarised between discourses of natural versus medical birth, in this paper I take an in depth look at one birth story, and look for a different way to think through how women’s birth experiences might be understood. Written at the beginning of a year of research into women’s birth experiences this paper represents my early thinking in the study.
McKinnon, K. (published online Sept 2014) ‘The Geopolitics of Birth’ Area
Seeing Diversity, Multiplying Possibility: My journey from post-feminism to postdevelopment with JK Gibson-Graham
As a graduate student I first came into contact with the work and persons of JK Gibson-Graham. As I was mentored and supervised by Katherine Gibson, the piece ‘Building Community Economies: Women and the Politics of Place’ became part of my journey into feminism and feminist postdevelopment research. In this chapter, I highlight three principles I have carried with me from that time until now: starting where you are, seeing diversity, and multiplying possibility. With reference to my own developing research interests, I show how Gibson-Graham’s work is relevant and inspiring in a third wave feminist context.
Dombroski, K. Forthcoming. Seeing Diversity, Multiplying Possibility: My journey from post-feminism to postdevelopment with JK Gibson-Graham. In W. Harcourt (ed.) The Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Development. Palgrave.
Boone Shear, Shear
This paper explores and compares the activities of two green economy coalitions. I investigate how social actors, including myself, have been negotiating, responding to, and producing the meaning of the green economy, and the meaning of "the economy" writ-large, through our political efforts. I am particularly interested in thinking about the ways in which the expression of different desires for economy can lead to openings, or closures, for the construction of non-capitalist relationships, initiatives, and enterprises.
Shear, Boone. 2014. Making the Green Economy: Politics, Desire, and Economic Possibility. Journal of Political Ecology. 21: 193-209.
Written with Robyn Dowling this chapter offers a discussion of theories of identity in human geography, and draws on recent research by each of the authors to elaborate new challenges to the way geographers think about identity. Includes consideration of the impacts of J.K. Gibson-Grahams thinking around subjectivity, collectivity, and social change to geographers engagements with identity across different fields.
Dowling, R. and McKinnon, K. (2014) ‘Identities’, for Lee, R., Castree, N., Kitchin, R., Lawson, V., Paasi, A., Radcliffe, S., Withers, C.W.J., (eds) Sage Handbook of Human Geography, Sage Books
This articles engages with the notion of the city as capitalist space, focusing on the specific actors that come together to realign economically heterogeneous spaces into the monolithic, capitalist city.
Gabriel, N. 2013. "Mapping urban space The production, division and reconfiguration of natures and economies". City 17(3): 325–342, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13604813.2013.798478
In this paper co-authored with Suzanne Bergeron, we explore how international development discourse has placed women at the center of a "smart economics" approach to economic development. While we are heartened by development discourse's new found interest in economies of care and social reproduction, we are troubled by the way that an essentialized conception of gender is attached to a economic growth as usual agenda. We explore the potential of theory of the community economy, with its emphasis on the moment of ethical decision, might serve to unsettle essentialist categories of gender while redirecting the aims of the develoment process.
Forthcoming in an edited volume published by the United Nations Research in Social Development. (UNRISD).
Psychoanalysis and the Geography of the Anthropocene: Fantasy, Oil Addiction, and the Politics of Global Warming
This paper uses key concepts from psychoanalytic theory to explore the fantasies that structure social discourses around global warming and resource depletion as key features of the anthropocene. Forthcoming S. Pile and P. Kingsbury Psychoanalytic Geograpahies (London: Ashgate Press).
In this paper I explore how notions of dwelling might be adapted to explain how diverse economic practices produce new economic spaces and subjectivities within and beyond the home.
Morrow, Oona. 2011. Diverse Economies and Dwelling. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, 2011
Written as a response to a series of commentaries on ‘Antipodean Economic Geography’ this piece draws on my fieldwork experience to question whether it is useful to invoke the ‘otherness’ of the Antipodes. I call for a habituation of the practice of ‘looking for difference’ as a way of cutting across the Antipodean-Metropole binary invoked in the discussion.
McKinnon, K. (2013) ‘A different kind of difference: Knowledge, politics and being Antipodean’ Dialogues in Human Geography 3(2) 213-216
A review of the film Warm Bodies (2013), a dark-comedy featuring zombies and romance. We read Warm Bodies as inhabiting today's growing social imaginary and belief that even amidst growing inequalities, austerity and unfolding ecological challenges, another world is truly possible.
Situating wild product gathering in a diverse economy: negotiating ethical interactions with natural resources
Elizabeth (Za) Barron, Elizabeth Barron
Building on the concept of econo-sociality (Gibson-Graham and Roelvink 2009), I propose the related concept of econo-ecology to explore and interpret diverse knowledges and practices of the environment using a range of case studies centered on interrelationships between humans, plants and fungi in the United States and Scotland.
Barron, E.S. forthcoming. Situating wild product gathering in a diverse economy: negotiating ethical interactions with natural resources. In: Making other worlds possible: performing diverse economies, Roelvink, G., K. St. Martin and J.K. Gibson-Graham (eds.) Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
This short essay considers the limitations of critical anthropological theory and in particular critiques of capitalism. We suggest that anthropology’s emancipatory potential can be found in an approach that embraces anthropology’s ‘moral optimism’ and merges critique with a politics of possibility.
Shear, Boone and Burke, Brian. 2013. Beyond Critique: Anthropology of and for Non-Capitalism. Anthropology News. http://www.anthropology-news.org/index.php/2013/01/10/beyond-critique/
This is a short review of Renata Salecl's The Tyranny of Choice. Salecl shows us that our actions are not driven entirely by the rational mind but are influenced by unconscious desires that are themselves produced by a relationship to the symbolic order. One implication is that we can’t simply will ourselves a new world. Stepping out of the political and ethical morass of fighting over which form of capitalism is better or more humane might require more than rational discussions about the vagaries of capitalism, speaking truth to power, or making rational demands on the state.
Shear, Boone W. 2012. Review of Renata Salecl's The Tyranny of Choice. Society and Space-Environment and Planing D. July. http://societyandspace.com/reviews/reviews-archive/salecl-renata-2011-tyranny-of-choice-reviewed-by-boone-shear-posted-14-july-2012/
A booklet outlining some of the major impacts of the 7-day work roster on families and communities from the perspective of women in four coal-mining communities in Central Queensland, Australia.
Gibson, K. Different Merry-Go-Rounds: Families, Communities and the 7-Day Work Roster (Clayton, Victoria: Monash University Centre for Women's Studies and Department of Geography and Environmental Science, 1993).
Worker Co-operatives and Spaces of Possibility: An Investigation of Subject Space at Collective Copies
This paper explores the production of space and time at a worker co-operative copy shop in Western Massachusetts.
Cornwell, J. Worker Co-operatives and Spaces of Possibility: An Investigation of Subject Space at Collective Copies. Antipode. 00 Online First 1-21
Worker Co-operatives and Spaces of Possibility: An Investigation of Subject Space at Collective Copies
This paper explores the production of work space and time in a worker co-operative copy shop in Western Massachusetts.
Cornwell, J. 2011. Worker Co-operatives and Spaces of Possibility: An Investigation of Subject Spaces at Collective Copies. Antipode 00 1-21 Online First
McKinnon, K (2011) Development Professionals in Northern Thailand: Hope, Politics and Practice ASAA Southeast Asia Publications Series, published by Singapore University Press in conjunction with University of Hawaii and NIAS.
This book is a critical history of development practice and professionalism in nothern Thailand, exploring how a postdevelopment perspective informed by the work of J.K. Gibson-Graham can shed new light on the nature of development practice and hope for the future.
The chapters in this edited collection were envisioned as conversations between scholars and indigenous collaborators from around the world. My contribution was drew from a Roundtable session with highland activists and community representatives who met in Chiang Mai in 2007 to discuss how to represent themselves as indigenous. It demonstrates an early engagement with a methodology of conversation
McKinnon, K. (2012) “Being indigenous in Northern Thailand”, in Venkateswar, S. (ed) The Politics of Indigeneity: Dialogues and reflections on indigenous activism, Zed Books: 145-171
Written in the early weeks of the Occupy movement, this short essay understands Occupy as reflecting and releasing dormant and suppressed economic values from which to imagine and practice a new world.
Shear, Boone and Healy, Stephen. 2011. Occupy Wall Street: A Gift for the Economy. Truthout. http://truth-out.org/news/item/4369:occupy-wall-street-a-gift-for-the-economy
In this chapter I consider what identification is from a social geography perspective. Drawing on fiedwork with indigenous activists in Thailand I explore what identification is, what it means and how it works. Engaging with a range of social theorists such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Ernesto Laclau, Judith Butler and J.K. Gibson-Graham I discuss the processes through which we are identified in the systems of governance and power that prevail in the contemporary world and what these processes mean both for how we are subjected to the machinations of power in the world and how we may act within and upon them.
McKinnon, K. (2011) “Identification”, in Del Casino, V., Thomas, M., Panelli, R. A Companion to Social Geography, Blackwell Publishing: 37-54
Discusses the role of visual representation in the production of urban economic subjects. Focus on Philadelphia in the 19th Century. Includes a discussion of the continuation of subsistence practices into the 20th. 4 images.
This paper explores the performative effects of law legal incoporation in the context of worker cooperatives internally governed through consensus, concluding that this representational disjuncture has particular effects on cooperative subjectivity.
Healy, S., 2011. “Cooperation, Surplus Appropriation, and the Law’s Enjoyment,” Rethinking Marxism 23(3): 364-370.
This paper takes a look at the practice of ba niao or 'Elimination Communication', where even very small babies are held out to 'eliminate' their waste rather than using nappies! The cross-cultural awkward engagement between two different hygiene understandings sparks changes in the day-to-day domestic practices of a group of Australasian mothers who rethink their use of hygiene products and other 'stuff'.
Dombroski, K. (2010) Poor mothers are not poor mothers: Cross-cultural learning between northwest China and Australasia. Unpublished conference paper presented atA New Generation of Cross-cultural Researchers: Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney September 2010.
This paper takes issue with economic discourses that present excessive greed as the central cause of economic crises. We argue that this focus on greed as the catalyst (when harnessed “appropriately”) or the enemy of social order keeps the public debate from deliberating on the particular modes of enjoyment (jouissance) which both shore up and destabilize the dynamics of production, appropriation, distribution and consumption under capitalism. We produce an analysis of the latest crisis of US capitalism that steers away not only from the theoretical humanist categories like "greed", but also from the residual reproductionism that continues to silently inform certain Lacanian analyses.
Özselçuk, C. and Madra, Y. M. 2010. Enjoyment as an Economic Factor: Reading Marx with Lacan, Subjectivity 3(3), 323–347.
Faced with the daunting prospect of global warming and the apparent stalemate in the formal political sphere, this paper explores how human beings are transformed by, and transformative of, the world in which we find ourselves.
Gibson-Graham, J.K. and G. Roelvink. 2010. An economic ethics for the Anthropocene, Antipode 41(1), 320-346.
Traversing Fantasies, Activating Desires: Economic Geography, Activist Research and Psychoanalytic Methodology
This article reviews the growing body of literature produced by geographers who make use of psychoanalytic theory in the course of their research, before considering how Left Lacanian theory was deployed in diverse economies research.
Healy, S., 2010. “Traversing Fantasies, Activating Desires: Economic Geography, Activist Research and Psychoanalytic Methodology,” Professional Geographer, 62(4): 496-506.
Neoliberal subjectivities or a politics of the possible? Reading for difference in alternative food networks
I respond to critique that alternative food movement projects often recreate neoliberal subjectivities, and argue that agrifood scholars should be aware of the ways in which their readings of alternative food networks can guide and reproduce alternative food network practice.
Harris, E.M. 2009. Neoliberal subjectivities or a politics of the possible? Reading for difference in alternative food networks, Area, 41(1), 55–63.
Informal caregiving frequently exacts a heavy psychic and physical toll on subjects that perform it while simultaneously figuring as a source of deep ethical meaning, raising questions about how to account for both dimensions in a politics of health care reform.
Healy, S. 2008. “Caring for Ethics and the Politics of Health Care Reform,” Gender, Place and Culture, 15(3): 267-284.
In response to the accusation that development can only serve to perpetuate uneven power between the '1st' and '3rd' worlds, this paper explores possibilities for new postdevelopment approaches founded on an understanding of development as a political engagement.
McKinnon, K. 2007. Postdevelopment, professionalism and the politics of participation, Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 97(4): 772-785
The first paper published during my PhD studies, this article explores how the movement to obtain citizenship rights for highland minorities in Thailand is carefully engaging with dominant discourses of ‘Thai-ness’ in ways that open up the incompleteness of Thai state hegemony.
McKinnon, K. (2005) “(Im)Mobilisation and Hegemony: ‘Hill Tribe’ Subjects and the ‘Thai’ State”, The Journal of Social and Cultural Geography, 6 (1): 31-46
An orthodoxy of ‘the local’: post-colonialism, participation and professionalism in northern Thailand
The emergence of a participatory orthodoxy in the development industry has had enormous positive impact, however discourses of participation are also being used in surprisingly political ways. This paper explores how a ‘pro-local’ discourse amongst development professionals in northern Thailand is being deployed in ways that undermine the goals of empowerment and emancipation that are central to the aims of participatory approaches.
McKinnon, K. (2006) “An orthodoxy of ‘the local’: post-colonialism, participation and professionalism in northern Thailand”, The Geographical Journal, 172 (1): 22-34
This paper cowritten with Ken Byrne uses the psychoanalytic concept of fantasy to explore how people are attached to particular notions of economy, by way of contrast we explore how worker cooperators in Argentina's newly formed worker cooperatives experience their economic subjectivity.
Byrne, K. and S. Healy, 2006. “Co-operative Subjects: Towards a Post-Fantasmatic Enjoyment of the Economy,” Rethinking Marxism 18(2): 241-258.
Politics and professionalism in community development: examining intervention in the highlands of northern Thailand
This paper offers a synopsis of the key findings of my PhD Thesis which explored the politics of development practice and theories of postdevelopment. Drawing on a series of case studies from northern Thailand, I argue that development is always political, whether it is being shaped by a politics of emancipation or the international geopolitical concerns of the day. Thus what is required in development practice is a much more aware engagement with the political dynamics at play.
McKinnon, K. (2005) “Politics and professionalism in community development: examining intervention in the highlands of northern Thailand” Centre for Indigenous Governance and Development Working Paper Series, December.
Beyond green capitalism: Providing an alternative discourse for the environmental movement and natural resource management
Elizabeth (Za) Barron, Elizabeth Barron
In this paper interpreting mushroom hunting as part of the diverse economy facilitates its place independent of environmental protection strategies like “green capitalism,” which fail in part because they ignore non-capitalist resource use and extraction activities that do not fit within market oriented approaches to resource management.
Barron, E.S. 2005. Beyond green capitalism: Providing an alternative discourse for the environmental movement and natural resource management. Middle States Geographer, 38, 69-76.
Exploring how recent feminist thinkers are attempting to add women into the economy.
Cameron J. and J. K. Gibson-Graham. 2003. Feminising the Economy: metaphors, strategies, politics, Gender, Place & Culture 10(2), 145-157.
Outlines the 'politics of becoming' associated with desiring and building communal economies.
The Community Collective. 2001. Imagining and enacting non-capitalist futures, Socialist Review 28(3), 93-135.