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 53: Field methods for assemblage analysis: tracing relations between difference and dominance

Eric Sarmiento


This chapter sketches the methodological implications of assemblage thinking, a mode of thought and analytical framework developed by French poststructuralists Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. As a non-dualistic technique of thinking, assemblage is especially useful for exploring relationships between the material world and processes of meaning-making. It also refuses to grant a priori explanatory power to particular actors or political economic social structures and thus has been adopted by social researchers as an effective way of avoiding the totalizing and essentializing tendencies of structuralist ontologies. When fully mobilized in research design the focus is on tracing the relationships between what Deleuze and Guattari call the ‘molar’ and the ‘molecular’, or what in diverse economies research might be thought of as dominance and difference. This approach is illustrated through a brief consideration of research on the linkages between Oklahoma’s local food movement and urban redevelopment in Oklahoma City.

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