The Handbook of Diverse Economies
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The Handbook of Diverse Economies

Edited by J. K. Gibson-Graham and Kelly Dombroski

Economic diversity abounds in a more-than-capitalist world, from worker-recuperated cooperatives and anti-mafia social enterprises to caring labour and the work of Earth Others, from fair trade and social procurement to community land trusts, free universities and Islamic finance. The Handbook of Diverse Economies presents research that inventories economic difference as a prelude to building ethical ways of living on our dangerously degraded planet. With contributing authors from twenty countries, it presents new thinking around subjectivity and methodology as strategies for making other worlds possible.
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Chapter 11: Homo economicus and the capitalist corporation: decentring authority and ownership

Jayme Walenta

Abstract

This chapter extends theorizations of the corporation through the diverse economies project, a project that makes visible the multiple economic practices operating outside the strict capitalocentric script. To do this, the author takes up the topic of Enron Corporation’s downfall and aftermath by promoting diverse corporate subjectivities in the form of ownerships and authorships of Enron emanating from marginal sources. This approach decentres the dominant economic identity of the corporation as homo economicus, embodied through the rational, white, and in this case toxic masculine figure, challenging these racial and gendered orderings. Following a brief discussion of homo economicus as a metaphor for the corporation, the author examines changing notions of corporate ownership on display at the criminal trial against former Enron CEOs Lay and Skilling, and diverse authorships of Enron’s story as enacted at a series of theatrical performances in Austin TX, of the play ENRON, where all cast members were either female or gender non-binary. The purpose is to emphasize a diversity of bodies in the corporate sector, which could lead to new forms of corporate accountability.

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