This chapter introduces diverse economies understandings of work and labour, exploring what it means to work, the different ways we are compensated for that work, and how working lives are interwoven with concerns of power, gender and identity. A diverse economies approach offers a systematic way to unravel what working lives consist of by taking into account the many forms of both paid and unpaid labour that sustain us. Using examples from both the majority and minority worlds, this chapter argues that recognition of the diversity of labour is an essential starting point for identifying the ethical negotiations at the heart of human livelihoods. The ultimate concern is not just to account for the myriad stuff that must be done for survival, but to think through what must be done in order to survive well, as individuals, as families, and as communities with our human and non-human planetary others.
Katharine McKinnon, Kelly Dombroski and Oona Morrow
Feminist economic geography has been a rich site for exploring issues of political economy and gender. In this chapter the authors explore the contributions of feminist economic geographers to rethinking economy. Diverse economies thinking reveals diversity in existing economic practices, broadening our view of what is important and viable economic activity. This includes recognizing and valuing care work and the household, and recognizing diversity in forms of economic transactions, labour and enterprise through which people around the world secure their livelihoods. Alternative markets, unpaid work and noncapitalist enterprises all come into view as vital parts of our economy. Community economies scholarship begins by rethinking ‘the economy’ and the discourses that shape expectations of how globalization and capitalism function. Building on the work of J.K. Gibson-Graham, the diverse economies framework informs the work of others in the ‘Community Economies Collective’ and the ‘Community Economies Research Network’.