Meanings of the Market

Haritas, Kaveri (2017) Meanings of the Market. In: Solidarity Economy Practices of Women in India, O.P. Jindal Global University, Haryana, India.

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This paper is based on ethnographic research conducted in the Udupi fish market (central market) between February 2016 and November 2016. In this paper I examine the Udupi fisherwomen’s association that I have in an earlier article (Thara, 2016 ) studied as an example of a solidarity economy practice, as these women collectively mobilise through a democratic process of deliberation, and work together to protect their livelihoods from capture by larger fish shops. In this paper, I propose a critical analysis of solidarity economy practices, that are often celebrated in literature as emancipatory, suggesting that a more nuanced detailing of the internal workings of such solidarity economy initiatives, reveal entrenched hierarchies and the frustrations women face in aligning their personal objectives of accumulation alongwith collective objectives of redistribution. Through detailed ethnographic material, I focus on how women think about their work, the meanings they give to choosing to sell fish, their choice of autonomy over dependence, the anxieties of selling and of competition with others and their efforts to live good lives. I look specifically at entrenched hierarchies, with big sellers who are often more politically powerful, representing them and leading the association. I examine the frustrations of small sellers, who both envy and despise the big sellers, lending more value to their own hard earned money, not easy money that big sellers make. Through close interactions with small sellers and many months of participant observation, I argue that the objective of redistribution that solidarity economy practices such as these formally claim, are troubled by the contradicting desires of women, torn between collective objectives of solidarity and individual desires to accumulate through higher profits.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Market | Solidarity Economy | Social Economy | Gender | fisherwomen | Udupi
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Economics, Econometrics and Finance > Economics
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Government and Public Policy
Depositing User: Gena Veineithem
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2022 04:55
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2022 04:55
Funders: ICSSR


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