This workshop explores the potential of a gender-aware economic anthropology to articulate a vigorous critique of current economic models, in the context of the ongoing crisis of market models, austerity and debt.
Taking Hart, Laville and Cattani's call for a Human Economy as our starting point, the workshop explores the potential of a gender-aware approach to economic models to provide a useful critical perspective on current economic models and practices. We highlight the richness of the anthropological tradition in elaborating such critiques and aim to advance current debates by drawing on anthropology's rich conceptual and methodological tool-box. From early debates in the discipline about exploitation, value, systems of production and exchange, we propose to engage with, and extend, anthropology's ongoing critical engagement with neoliberalism(s), the market and individualism. Gender approaches to labour markets and work, particularly those which critiqued received wisdom about 'natural' economic orders, and a 'natural' division of labour, made early inroads into understanding the ways in which markets and economic actors are culturally constituted. How do theories and ethnographies of gender relations and categories inform possible critiques of 'Homo Economicus''? Scale is central to the questions we pose: for example, how may the analysis of households and local communities provide insights into the global movements of capital and broad trends of deindustrializion and financialization? and how might we effectively trace the effects of these processes on households, communities and different categories of person?