Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

Towards Day 6 (Th, 9/18): Encountering Others in the Market

Anne Dalke's picture

I. names?

II. "Identity: Skin, Blood, Heart"--
on the abstracting from story that is making a thesis statement...
this is NOT the description of her experience, or what she decided to do:
it's the larger point she is making, i.e.:
NOT "my experience of a safe space was based on places secured by
omission, exclusion or violence, and on
my submitting to the limits of that place,"
NOR  "I learn a way of looking at the world that is more accurate,
complex, multi-layered, ulti-dimensioned, more truthful,"

most of you are still figuring out how to do this in your papers--
abstracting from experience to make a claim, elaborate/explain it and back it up

also, might talk about writer- and reader-based prose

your papers, taken together, made a very interesting pattern:
2 of you imagined yourselves as the child in closet:

Emily as prospective student
Rina as lost, confused child
4 of you paralleled your experience to that of the Omelians, walking away:
Sydney and Hadiyyah from a drug user,
Grace from AfAm man
Nayanthi from starving dog
Marjorie wrote about how we learn to do this, learning not to trust others' behavior
while Selena contrasted her behavior: she did NOT walk away from the dog in the shelter
2 of you found an analogy between your experience and "Bloodchild":
Allie: self as T’Gatoi, Gan as her dog (working the cross-species relationship)
Rose: T’Gatoi as internet Celebs, young girls as their Terrans (cross-generational)
and 2 of you found insight in, or quarreled with, Pratt:
Virushi: not having a two-way exchange w/ the ocean
Weilla: no contact zone, just contact, w/ animals,
who have no sense of difference between us

III. break in a moment into pairs, to start work on your next paper:
we want youto design a 10-week long project,
documenting your own activities of consumption--
a way of exploring your extended "contact zones."
but first! one go-round on "Take Back the Market"
what sorts of questions did this chapter open for you?
For Jody and Anne: it was about expanding the "contact zone" beyond
those whom we meet in the street/on campus/in person...
now divide up and figure out how you will apply this...

IV. now divide up
--and start to get to know your partner by reading her paper,
writing a sentence in response, and talk about that...
this will give you a better sense of how she is
thinking about the possibility and difficulties of "contacting" others...
only then begin to think together about what kind of investigation
you are going to design to expand that circle

V. return to full group and report back
on the ideas
you have generated (and feel free to grab from others)
How will tracing your spending habits enable you to trace your "encounters" with others?

VI. questions about this 3pp. jointly-written paper, due on Fri?

Clear about the process: how will you hook up, in person or on-line?
ALSO TO NOTE: this paper will NOT have a thesis;
it's a different GENRE-->
a proposal describing how you will gather data (once you've gathered it,
there will be an end-of-semester project where you develop a claim
base on the information you've collected).

Virushi: both your web papers appear as attached documents, not as web papers;
please follow the "posting instructions," and re-post

VII. Monday's webby post:
your initial reactions to next week's reading,
Eli Clare's memoir, Exile and Pride: Part I, "Home," which we selected
as an example of "intersectionality." Clare says in the preface that he
learned his "intersectional" and "multi-issue politics" from the
Black feminists of the Combahee River Collective, who argued that
"the synthesis of oppressions creates the conditions of our lives."

If your relation to earlier posts is "unspecified," just start a new thread.
But make it "webby," so others can respond to you if they'd like...

Anne's Reading Notes from "Take Back the Economy"
p. 85: portrayed as naturaly operating, like tides or weather systems, efficiently allocating scarce resources
p. 86: when we acquire what we need from distant others via the market, the nature of our encoutners is masked
what kind of encounter with others is represented by the price of a commodity?
As long as the price commands our attention, it's easy to discount these concerns
p. 87: Markets are one way we connect with others to obtain the things we need that we can't produce for ourselves.
p. 89: Taking back markets means promoting economic encounters that help us survive well together...
so that we honor the survival needs of those we share the planet with.
a Where From? Inventory...allows us to begin to identify who the distant others are that we are connected to via trade.
p. 90: tke a sampelof the itemsin our household bought recently and record their country of origin: Food/Clothing/Electronics
On the basis of this inventory we can construct a Distant Others Dandelion of connection...
pp. create an Ethical Shopper's Checklist: Cost/Utility/Sensory Response/People and Planet Connections (animals/environment/people/politics/sustainability)
p. 99: the market supply chain provides anonymity
p. 102: cf. a people's trade policy: 1) a guaranteed minimum price and 2) a fair trade premium
p. 103: A community economy is a space of decision making in which we negotiate our interdependence with other humans, other species, and our environment. These negotiatons are never finalized.
p. 104: Our encounters with distant others via the market can enable livelihoods to flourish around the world if we attend to more than our own needs in our trade transactions. Markets can be a space of care as well as of consumption. As we become more attuned ot how our actions as consumers affect the ability of others to survive well, the market becomes less a space of enchantment and unbridled pleasure and more a space of learning and collective responsibility. If we can acknowledge the distant others that we encounter indirectly through our transactions, we might start to feel that we are encountering them more face-to-face.
our quality of life is mainly provided by encounters...close by [which]
p. 105: take two overarching forms: transactions that are reciprocal and those that are gift based...
equivalences that are negotiated, [vs. those that] are more open-ended
p. 106: Both types of direct connection involve complicated and even contradictory feelings for self nad others. Care and concern...become entangled with feelings of indebtedness and obligation:
gifts "invade our privacy and demolish our carefully constructed autonomy"
p. 109: per Marcel Mauss: thre is no such thing as a 'free gift"--all gifts carry some expectation of a return
gifts build societal relationships...involve socially agreed protocols and obligations reciprocal and market transactions, involves negotiation with others.
In reciprocal transactions, generally the negotiation is direct, between those involved;
in market transactions, the price is the means of negotiation....;
in gift transactions, the negotiation generally invovles an internal dialogue about our own interests and desires and societal expectations.
p. 111: Convenience is a form of "selective seeing" whereby we choose to overlook the cost of our transactions to others...[it] can also cme at a cost to our own well-being.
Perhaps in a community economy we can experiment with increasing our direct connections through alternative and nonmarket transactions.
Diverse Transactions Identifier:
Alternative Market: fair and direct trade, reciprocal exchange, alternative currency, local trading system, community-supported agriculture, barter, underground market, informal market
NonMarket: household flows, gift giving, gleaning, state allocations, hunting/fishing/gathering, theft/poaching
p. 112: Ethical Interconnection Checklist: building new habits of encounter
The Ethical Questions:
Are both my needs and the needs of others being met?
Am I connecting with others more directly?
Am I taking only what I need?
Are there ways I can give back to help others meet their needs?
Collective Actions for Encountering Others
p. 113: Whose needs are being met?
How are the needs of others (human and nonhuman) being considered?
Are familiar patterns of consumption being tempered and adjusted? In what ways?
What types of encounters are being fostered?
p. 121: principled discarding
p. 122: Where to from here?
1) What types of market transactions do you engage in to meet your needs?
2) What sorts of reciprocal relationships play a role in meeting your needs?
3) Does gifting play a role in your well-being?
In a community economy we think about satisfying not just our own needs but also the needs of the people and environments that are providing for us,
and we look to the variety of economic encounters that can help us and others to survive well together.

Are there other ways I can share or reciprocate?