Alternative Economies

Description

Within economic geography there is an overarching belief that the formal neo-liberal market is the predominant form of economy and that even those countries that do not operate such a system are moving towards it.

There is little consideration of both alternative forms of economy and the ways in which individuals, families, households and/or networks employ a range of both formal and informal practices to sustain their everyday lives.

In other words our everyday lives have little relation to the textbook neo-liberal economic module.

Even though this model is a relatively recent construct, and informal practices, by definition, have existed for much longer in disciplines such a management studies there is currently much excitement about the discovery of "the informal".

Therefore, this module explores the nature of alternative economies through an examination of informal practices, the role of networks, state/society relations, migration and how all of these relate to space and place.

Building on the themes developed in the second year economic Urban and Regional Economy and Social and Political modules this course looks at how we can theorise everyday life and practices through an alternative economies lens.

It draws upon in-depth research, conducted by the module's leader, and empirically based case studies from Birmingham, Russia and Japan.

Theoretically the course draws from geography, sociology, labour studies and management disciplines and is based in a post-structuralist political economy approach.

The module is made up of 10 2 hour lectures and 10 1 hour workshops, students will be asked to make group presentations within the workshops on an alternative economy of their choosing.

For this they will be expected to undertake a small amount of participant observation research upon which the presentation will be based.

Delivery

  • Lectures 20 hrs
  • Seminars 10 hrs

Assessment

  • 1x1.5 hour exam (50%) – essay style
  • 2,500 word essay (40%) – on an aspect of the informal economy of the student's choice
  • Small groups presentation and class participation (10%)