Working and Caring | ECC 2013 – Communication Platform

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Currently, we witness two parallel phenomena: Global development policies cause the loss of use rights to the natural commons as the livelihood support system for an estimated two billion people. At the same time, an ecology of collaborative production is (re)emerging beyond markets, money and organizational hierarchies as we know them. The lines between production and consumption are becoming blurred by social practices, which are based on sharing and (indirect) reciprocity. These practices are providing innovative answers to the fundamental question of how to (re)produce our livelihoods. Yet, most of the time, they do neither recognize “the whole of work”, which means to overcome the structural divisions between productive work and care work (education, health, eldercare, household level, etc.) nor do they reduce embedded gender imbalances in the performance of these activities. And yet, the emerging new patterns bear the potential for a historical transformation toward a model that we could term “(re)prosumption”.

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