06 July 2015

Feminist Analysis of Social and Solidarity Economy Practices: Views from Latin America and India

Christine Verschuur, from the Graduate Institute’s Department of Anthropology and Sociology of Development (ANSO), will coordinate a new Programme on Gender and Global Change project jointly with Filipe Calvaõ, also from the Institute’s ANSO department and in partnership with a number of research institutions. This two-year project has been approved, and will be funded by the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS).

The research project, entitled Feminist Analysis of Social and Solidarity Economy Practices: Views from Latin America and India, aims at understanding the practices, social relations and power relations in relation to social reproduction within the social and solidarity economy (SSE). It furthermore seeks to explore how SSE practices contribute to the renewal of public action and policies in the field of production and social reproduction. Production, exchange and redistribution practices based on solidarity can be found in almost all areas of economic activity. These SSE practices have long been ignored but are receiving growing attention by scholars and public authorities alike. Yet this growing interest remains gender blind, even though these practices are highly gendered, with women playing a major role in them. The SSE practices in the area of social reproduction are still under-recognised, and this research project aims at addressing these gaps in analysis and policies from a feminist perspective. It will also contribute to the empirical and theoretical debates on social reproduction.

The research hypothesises that to be truly transformative, SSE practices need to also address the reorganisation of social reproduction, integrating the political goals of gender equality and more equitable power relations.

SSE organisations in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and India have been selected where in-depth studies at the micro-level will be developed, using feminist anthropological approaches. At the meso- and macro levels, the project will explore the interactions between SSE and political debate, action and public policies, using feminist economics, sociology and political science approaches. These multi-scalar and pluri-disciplinary studies will produce comparative analysis and contribute to substantial conclusions, both at theoretical and policy levels.

The research project will be conducted in collaboration with institutions including the United Nations Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), Centre d’études en sciences sociales sur les mondes africains, américains et asiatiques (CESSMA) of Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento (UNGS), Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Sempreviva Organização Feminista (SOF), the French Institute of Pondicherry and the Institute of Social Studies Trust in India.