Critical Gibson-Graham: Reading Capitalocentrism for Trouble

Tuomo Alhojärvi

J.K. Gibson-Graham’s postcapitalist approach to diverse economies has unleashed a flourishing of research and activism for other worlds. One reason for its successes is found in the intricate links between a feminist and antiessentialist critique of political economy and an experimental, enabling, and affirmative practice of economy. While initially powered by explicitly critical and negating energies, diverse-economies scholars have increasingly accentuated an affirmative, “post/critical” register. This essay explores what has happened to “capitalocentrism” in this process. Initially an invitation to consider our performative complicity with the seeming inescapability of capitalism, capitalocentrism has lately been positioned as an already established theoretical object and a problem already settled. Returning to Gibson-Graham’s affinities with deconstruction, this essay seeks to reproblematize capitalocentrism through a thinking strategy called “reading for trouble.” Insisting on the theoretical and political potentials that capitalocentrism opens for critical and deconstructive practice, the notion becomes a key word for troublesome work ahead.

Suggested citation

Alhojärvi, T. 2020. "Critical Gibson-Graham: Reading Capitalocentrism for Trouble." Rethinking Marxism 32(3): 286-309.