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The Crisis Seen from below, within and against: From Food Cooperatives to the Solidarity Economy in Greece

Dialectical Anthropolog

Theodoros Rakopoulos, 2014

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Summary :

Anthropological literature on crises and social and solidarity economies can benefit from integrated approaches that assess grassroots cooperatives formed during critical periods of capitalist recession. This article debates on why it is problematic to conceptualize the Greek crisis as exceptional and then examines the relationship between the solidarity economy and cooperatives and argues that the latter is a development of the former in the future plans of people struggling against the crisis being witnessed in Greece. It moreover makes a case for there being a need to pay more attention to the distribution sector. Its main aim is to point out how participants engaged in initiatives related to the solidarity economy tend to imagine that their activities are inspired by larger aims and claims than the immediate significance of their material actions. This is done by ethnographically analyzing organized social responses against crises through the rise of popular solidarity economies associated with distribution of food without middlemen.