Oikos: households, markets and nation

Stephen Gudeman (University of Minnesota/ Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)
André Dumans Guedes (Universidade Federal Fluminense)
Benoît de L’Estoile, Adam Kuper
Start time:
21 July, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel ethnographically explores the multiple ways houses can be considered, especially the ways in which “households” “markets”, and nations are related.

Long abstract:

This panel explores the relations and tensions between the multiple ways houses may be considered ethnographically: as a socio-spatial or as a moral category, or as an institution that is central to concerns about family, making a living, leading a ‘good life’ or allowing one to become a ‘proper person’. It is also a "base" (Gudeman) for making a living, in contrast to and in association with the market ; in that respect, one can explore its links with the notions of ‘household’, specific to English, and ‘family’. With the objective of making these tensions and relations productive analytical and descriptive devices, we highlight the importance of the Greek term “oikonomia” (de L'Estoile 2014 ; Gudeman 2015) – originally referring to the “government of the oikos” the house/ family, it has originated what we call nowadays “the economy”. The different meanings and practices associated to these ideas will be explored as we consider a variety of ways through which “households” and “markets” are related, or how various economic practices are associated to different and often conflictive forms of government: in situations where houses become sources of income or are thought of as units of productions; where the material transformations of the houses (their building, reform or decay) materialize and expresse social change induced by wider structural forces; transnational and translocal contexts, challenge taken-for- granted ideas about the “stability” or “permanence” of the house. This Panel shares concerns with Panel 6 (“Oikonomia-government of the house/politikè »).