The Practice of Cooperation

Authors: Andrew Zitcer*, Drexel University
Topics: Economic Geography, Geographic Thought
Keywords: cooperatives, cooperation, practices, embodiment, democracy
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Committee Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Social and economic cooperation serves as an important corrective to Western traditions of rugged individualism and competition. Cooperative practices have gained traction in discussions of post-capitalist practice as advanced by J.K. Gibson-Graham (1996, 2008) and others. Yet merely valorizing cooperation over competition provides no guidance for how to achieve a desirable societal transformation. Alasdair MacIntyre’s (1981, 1999) ethical framework allows a means of exploring cooperation as a practice, one that needs to be instantiated at multiple scales. From practices of the body to the practice of democracy, cooperation requires a fundamental rethinking of contemporary ways of being. Drawing from extensive fieldwork in a number of cooperative projects in the United States, this project explores the consequences of MacIntyre’s virtue ethics for a post-capitalist politics.

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