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Beyond household economies: articulations and spaces of economic practice in postsocialism

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alison Stenning


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While there has already been an engaged critique of the 'transition to capitalism', less work has explored the limits of the dominant capitalocentric accounts of postsocialism. In this paper, we argue that capitalist development in postsocialist societies should be seen as one part of a diverse economy, constituted by a host of economic practices articulated with one another in dynamic and complex ways and in multiple sites and spaces. To make this argument, we develop three interlinked points. First, we suggest that many of the prevailing conceptualizations of diverse economic practices in postsocialism fail to address adequately the multiple geographies within which such practices are constituted, enabled and constrained. Second, we argue that in much of the literature only limited attention has been paid to the articulation of capitalist and non-capitalist economies and to the mutually constitutive sets of social relations that underpin the diverse economies of postsocialism. Lastly, we focus on the political and moral economy of postsocialism's diverse economies and ask how these practices should be valued. We conclude by arguing that central to any understanding of the diverse economies of postsocialism must be a recognition of the power relations which shape and are shaped by the articulations and geographies of economic practices. This recognition, we argue, enables the possibility of reassessing the place, politics and value of such practices. © 2006 Edward Arnold (Publishers) Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smith A, Stenning AC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Progress in Human Geography

Year: 2006

Volume: 30

Issue: 2

Pages: 190-213

ISSN (print): 0309-1325

ISSN (electronic): 1477-0288

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1191/0309132506ph601oa


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