A collection of economic possibilities: Latinx Diverse Economies in the greater Boston area.

Authors: Sara Tornabene*, UNC Charlotte
Topics: Latinx Geographies , Feminist Geographies, Food Systems
Keywords: diverse economies, Latinx geographies, food geographies
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 22
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This research draws on the diverse economies framework (Gibson-Graham, 2006) to explore transformative practices carried out by Latinx communities in the greater Boston area. Using a mixed-method and multi-scalar approach, including GIS, conceptual and sketch mapping techniques, analysis of secondary data, and in-depth interviews, this study uncovers day-to-day economic practices that are often excluded from the mainstream economic discourse and seldom counted and valued as economic. This research does so focusing on Latinx communities in the Boston area and the way these communities use food to develop and/or engage in a wide range of transformative practices – such as cooperative community gardens, networks of mutual-aid support, cooperative/collaborative businesses, etc. – that are imbued with anti-capitalist values. In order to understand the mutually constitutive relationship between the scale of the body and the urban, national, and international contexts, this study investigates the complex and relational interrelations between economic actors’ non-static identities, the collective dimension of the collaboration, and the socio-economic and political context in which those practices take place. In the contemporary global push for a more sustainable economic system that ensures people meet basic needs, those practices carry a transformative power for people, places, and the economy. Valuing collaborative and cooperative food practices and the subjects who activate them not only helps to understand the diversity of practices constituting economic systems in urban areas, but also it allows to de-stigmatize minorities’ economic practices often deemed as informal, illegal, or non-valuable and open room for re-envisioning the economy in multi-cultural contexts

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