Accepted paper:

The solidarity economy of Greece: gender-aware critiques to crisis in the realm of distribution?


Theodoros Rakopoulos (University of Oslo)

Paper short abstract:

Enlightenment-deriving solidarity economy is gendered; this ethnographic-based analysis of food distribution and the new social economy of Greece, reviews how crisis rearranges people's priorities and poses alternative political imagination, arranged across class and gender lines for many.

Paper long abstract:

Submerged reciprocities in crisis-ridden Greece are coming to the fore in the form of grassroots solidarity economies. Such practices rising during (and, partly, because of) the crisis in Greece, urge us to rethink a neglected pillar of political Enlightenment: solidarity. Current debate on the Greek debt crisis and associated austerity politics and recession is often predicated upon an idea of a politicised social movement, presenting responses to the crisis "merely" through livelihoods-seeking activities. This paper, based on ethnographic fieldwork among participants in informal solidarity networks of food distribution, proposes that anthropological discussions on crisis should retain the ability of scale to review questions about Enlightenment's political legacy, reviewing the ideas people endow their everyday practices with. It attempts to revisit the idea of 'solidarity' rather than 'moral' economy for Greece, in order to locate the crisis and the priorities it bears, within the, gendered, participants' paradigms. Thus it takes into account the radical anti-austerity ideas of research interlocutors, who are organised to bridge the distribution of foodstuff from rural areas to Athens, cutting out middlemen and brokers. Following the development of these solidarity economies in Athens, and the usage of the term 'movementality', it suggests that resistance to the crisis' effects can offer a diagnostic of the broader picture, beyond claims for moral economies for Greece. The paper argues that what is original for the country's case and significant in terms of a discussion on solidarity in Anthropology is the grassroots responses to the crisis rather than macroeconomic themes.

panel P56
Towards a gendered economic anthropology/ towards a gendered critique of political economy