Community Economies

Research Practice

How can you use research to build other worlds?

How can you do participatory action research in a post-structuralist vein?

'Being There': Mothering and absence/presence in the field

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.

Farrelly, T., R. Stewart-Withers and K. Dombroski (2014) 'Being There': Mothering and absence/presence in the field. Sites. 11(2):25-54.

Moving from “matters of fact” to “matters of concern” in order to grow economic food futures in the Anthropocene

Ann Hill

This paper argues that through becoming critical minds in the Latourian sense researchers can play a key role in enacting economic food futures in the Anthropocene. It proposes a new mode of critical inquiry by centering on three broad research matters of concern: (1) gathering and assembling economic diversity (2) human actancy and (3) nonhuman actancy. 

Hill, A. 2014. Moving from “matters of fact” to “matters of concern” in order to grow economic food futures in the Anthropocene, Agriculture and Human Values. http://www.springer.com/-/5/e37581b51c3041d8833330d108787fb4

Seeing Diversity, Multiplying Possibility: My journey from post-feminism to postdevelopment with JK Gibson-Graham

Kelly Dombroski

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.

Cultivating hybrid collectives: research methods for enacting community food economies in Australia and the Philippines

Ann Hill, Jenny Cameron, Katherine Gibson

In this paper authors Cameron, Gibson and Hill discuss two research projects in Australia and the Philippines in which we have cultivated hybrid collectives of academic researchers, lay researchers and various nonhuman others with the intention of enacting community food economies. We feature three critical interactions in the 'hybrid collective research method': gathering, reassembling and translating. We argue that in a climate changing world, the hybrid collective method fosters opportunities for a range of human and nonhuman participants to act in concert to build community food economies.

Cameron, J., K.Gibson and A. Hill, 2014. Cultivating hybrid collectives: research methods for enacting community food economies in Australia and the Philippines Local Environment 19(1), 118-132.

Always engaging with others: Assembling an Antipodean, hybrid, economic geography collective

Kelly Dombroski

In this short commentary, I engage with other economic geographers reflecting on whether there is an 'Antipodean' Economic Geography. I argue that this is less a matter of fact and more of a point of gathering: by naming and gathering something called an Antipodean Economic Geography, what possibilities do we enable and disable for new kinds of economies and geographies?

Dombroski, K. 2013. 'Always engaging with others: Assembling an Antipodean hybrid economic geography collective' Dialogues in Human Geography, 3 (2) 217-221.

Rethinking the Creative Economy: Utilizing Participatory Action Research to Develop the Community Economy of Artists and Artisans

Leo Hwang

The Rethinking the Creative Economy Project utilzed the Community Economies model and a participatory action research methodology to explore non-capitalist practices of artists and artisans in Franklin County, Massachusetts. This article begins a conversation about how to explore economic development of the creative economy in ways that strengthen artists and artisans in a postcapitalist framework.

Hwang, L. 2013. Rethinking the creative economy: utilizing participatory action research to develop the community economy of artists and artisans, Rethinking Marxism. 25(4), 501-517.

Babies Bottoms for a Better World: Modernities, Hygiene and Social Change in Northwest China and Australasia

Kelly Dombroski

This thesis is an in-depth exploration of the transformative potential of nappy-free infant hygiene (among other practices) and hybrid research collectives for social and environmental change that begins in the home.

Dombroski, K. 2013. Babies' Bottoms for a Better World: Modernities, Hygiene and Social Change in Northwest China and Australasia. PhD Thesis. University of Western Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Being indigenous in northern Thailand

Katharine McKinnon

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

Writing in the Margins: Gen Y and the (im)possibilities of 'Understanding China'

Kelly Dombroski

In response to the concern expressed by some senior Chinese Studies academics over young scholars 'deserting to the disciplines', Kelly suggests that Gen Y are less interested in 'understanding China' and more interested in interdisplinary, culturally engaged (yet cross-cultural and collective) thinking for a new and better world - of which China is an important part.

Dombroski, K. 2011. Writing in the Margins: Gen Y and the (im)possibilities of 'understanding China'. China Studies Association of Australia Newsletter.

Embodying Research: Maternal bodies, fieldwork, and knowledge production in Northwest China

Kelly Dombroski

Using story and analysis, this paper explores the role of my (maternal) body in producing ethnographic knowledge, re-envisioning ethnographic fieldwork as an embodied relational engagement with a 'site' or 'space' where a multiplicity of trajectories converge.

Dombroski, K. 2011. 'Embodying Research: Maternal bodies, fieldwork, and knowledge production in Northwest China'. Graduate Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies. 7(2): 19-29.

Opportunities from Ondoy: From calamity to community enterprise

Ann Hill

Work in progress paper about social enterprise clustering as a local economic development and livelihood (re)building strategy in Manila in the Philippines

Resource Management in Asia Pacific Seminar paper, The Australian National University, 24th February 2011

Growing the Community of Community Gardens: Research Contributions

Jenny Cameron

This paper discusses a performative research project conducted with community gardeners in Newcastle Australia.

Cameron, J., C. Manhood and J. Pomfrett. 2010. Growing the community of community gardens: research contributions. Paper submitted to the Community Garden Conference, Canberra, October 2010. (Note: The final published version is available online at the Conference Website, pages 116-129).

Collective Action and the Politics of Affect

Gerda Roelvink

This article examines the force of affect in collective action transforming the economy. I draw on my experience at the 2005 World Social Forum to illustrate the operation of affect in collective action.  

Roelvink, G. Forthcoming. Collective action and the politics of affect, Emotion, Space and Society.

Taking postdevelopment theory to the field: Issues in development research, Northern Thailand

Katharine McKinnon

Reflecting on the process of field research this paper explores the challenges of bringing together empirical research and the experience of doing development work, with the complex and often speculative theorising of contemporary political and social philosophy.

McKinnon, K.I. 2008. Taking postdevelopment theory to the field: Issues in development research, Northern Thailand, Asia Pacific Viewpoint. 49(3), 281-293.

Caring for Ethics and the Politics of Health Care Reform

Stephen Healy

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.

Review Article: Performing the Market

Gerda Roelvink

This review artilce asks, how is it that Elyachar’s book, Markets of Dispossession, is able to contribute both to critical Marxist research documenting and analysing neoliberalism and also to a post-structural performative approach to market networks?

Roelvink, G. 2007. Review article: performing the market, Social Identities 13(1), 125-133.

Focussing on the Focus Group

Jenny Cameron

Cameron, J. 2005. Focussing on the focus group, in Iain Hay (ed.) Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography, 2nd ed., Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Chapter 8.

Participatory Action Research in a Poststructuralist Vein

Jenny Cameron, Katherine Gibson

This paper introduces a poststructuralist influenced participatory action research project seeking to develop new pathways for economic and community development in the context of a declining region.

Cameron, J. & Gibson, K. 2005. Participatory action research in a poststructuralist vein, Geoforum 36(3), 315-31.

Constructing the community economy: civic professionalism and the politics of sustainable regions

Julie Graham, Stephen Healy, Kenneth Byrne

Outlines the Rethinking Economy action research project in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, highlighting the role of academy-community partnerships in constructing community economies.

 Graham, J., S. Healy and K. Byrne. 2002. Constructing the community economy: civic professionalism and the politics of sustainable regions, Journal of Appalachian Studies 8(1), 50-61.

Transforming communities: towards a research agenda

Jenny Cameron, Katherine Gibson

A review of Australian research and policy interventions aimed at communities and regions from the perspective of the Community Economies Project

Gibson, K. and J. Cameron. 2001.Transforming communities: towards a research agenda, Urban Policy and Research 19(1), 7-24.