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 43: Framing essay: subjectivity in a diverse economy

Stephen Healy, Ceren Özselçuk and Yahya M. Madra


Diverse economies scholarship has used a wide variety of thinking traditions to understand economic subjectivity and theorize subjects who might desire and enact postcapitalist community economies. In this chapter the authors clarify what the term ‘subject’ has come to mean in the context of a diverse, more than capitalist, economy. They introduce their concept of the ‘decentred subject’ and contrast their open-ended and anti-essentialist approach to two competing theories of economic subjectivity that are informed by theoretical humanism and structuralism respectively. They then chart the development of the decentred subject across three cumulative iterations of diverse economies scholarship. They argue that the decentred subject is critical for any efforts at shifting attachments, forming more sustainable relations and new forms of living together, and recognizing and negotiating the conditions and antagonisms of our shared interdependence – this process of negotiation is what J.K. Gibson-Graham name community economy.

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