Cities have dense, rapidly changing economies. Urban economies with different kinds of firms, networks and institutions dominate the world economy. We invite papers which highlight the dynamic and variegated character of the relationship between staying and settling, and urban economies.
Contemporary cities are economically dense and rapidly changing locations. Urban economies generally dominate the world economy. We wish to highlight the dynamic and highly variegated character of the relation between, on the one side, staying and settling, and, on the other side, contemporary urban economic life.
This panel invites ethnographically informed, theoretically embedded and innovative contributions on (but not only) small, middle-sized and larger businesses, including family enterprises, immigrant entrepreneurs, public, private and informal employment, state and private welfare provisions for migrants and "autochthonous" inhabitants, grassroots economic support systems and networks. All these can provide motivations and means for leading 'good lives', for staying, settling or leaving, hence building up, sustaining, expanding, or alternatively, leading to the decline of urban economies. Are there, for instance, intrinsic factors and theoretical models for linking the viability of medium-sized cities to the viability (or dominance) of medium-sized firms?
We invite participants to rethink theoretically processes of resilience and transformation of urban economies through the lens of staying and settling. In doing so, we wish to address some core questions in economic anthropology, such as: How do different structures and modes of economic integration (Karl Polanyi), as for example market and redistribution, combine with, or contradict each other, and influence processes of staying, settling, or moving in different sized urban centres? Do instances of reciprocal gifting, unreciprocated support, sharing, and sociability in general still shape urban economies, as has been argued by Jenny White (1994) for the case of capitalist and non-capitalist contexts?