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 26: Transacting services through time banking: renegotiating equality and reshaping work

Gradon Diprose


Time banking was popularized by Edgar Cahn in the 1980s in the United States and has been practised around the world in different forms, with differing levels of uptake, state recognition and support. A key value underlying most time bank exchanges is that everyone’s labour is valued equally, and that human communities flourish best through interdependence and reciprocity. This chapter reviews research on time banks to highlight how time banking differs from price determined market transactions, and the ethical questions time bankers negotiate. While time banking does not provide the single solution to all of the injustices created through waged work, it does provide an alternative transaction logic premised on a more equal way of exchanging labour. This equality is significant in helping people to reduce their reliance on waged work and money, while building trust in, and attachments to, other forms of transaction.

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