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 19: Informal mining labour: economic plurality and household survival strategies

Pryor Placino

Abstract

Modern-day mining is now highly mechanized and provides regular employment to highly paid workers in many parts of the world. However, there also exist millions of individuals who gain a livelihood from informal, artisanal and small-scale mining. From a diverse economies point of view, mining is as much non-capitalist as it is capitalist. The chapter aims to depart from the binary framing of informality and formality which situates informal mining labour only as ‘other’ to formal work in the capitalist mining industry. The author positions informal mining labour as part of the survival portfolio of poor and landless households to argue for a more dynamic view that opens up different possibilities for livelihood-making. The chapter draws on research with informal miners in the Philippines who quarry mundane materials including construction aggregates to underscore that informal miners are not only involved in the extraction of valuable minerals such as gold, diamonds or coal.

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