Status: Ongoing

The Urban Popular Economy Collective is made up of researchers and activists across the world. We have been attempting to conceptualize and engage the relationships between economic accumulation and social reproduction in ways that put social collaboration front and center. This means thinking about work, paid and unpaid, in ways the highlight the everyday practices of urban inhabitants as they put together territories in which to operate, which sustain their imaginations of well-being as part of a process of being with others—in households, neighborhoods, communities, and institutions. What is it that different kinds of workers have in common; what links them; where does the household begin and end; what is the difference between productive and reproductive work? These are some of the questions that have challenged us.

In Latin America, Consejo Latinamericano Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO), has for several years sponsored a working group on popular economy, and the Urban Institute of the University of Sheffield has made popular economy a major thematic focus of its work. Together we have organized this collective to better understand the ways in which urban life is concretely made from the ground-up. Our first project has been to put together a glossary of concepts that seek to explore the breadth of experiences and considerations that we feel are important tools to hone in on the makings of such economies. The glossary does not seek to be comprehensive. It doesn’t try to offer an overarching definition, but rather to provoke, explore, pursue different angles, open things up, create space for highlighting different practices, sensibilities, and feelings. The glossary is also an experiment with different kinds of vernaculars, ways of saying things, which we feel is also important to sustain collective investigation. The Popular Economy Collective are:

Bojana Babic, Bilgi University, Istanbul; Humboldt University, Berlin

Solomon Benjamin, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

Alioscia Castronova, University of San Martin, Sapienza University of Rome

Luci Cavallero, University of Buenos Aires

Cristina Cielo, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales Sede, Ecuador

Véronica Gago, University of Buenos Aires

Prince Guma​​, British Institute in Eastern Africa

Rupali Gupta​​, School of Environment and Architecture, Mumbai

Victoria Habermehl, Urban Institute, University of Sheffield

Brij Maharaj, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Raquel Rolnik, University of Sao Paolo

Lana Salman​​, Belfer Institute for Science and International Affairs

Prasad Shetty​​, School of Environment and Architecture, Mumbai

Gabriel Silvestre, Urban Studies Program, University of Sheffield

AbdouMaliq Simone, Urban Institute, University of Sheffield

Constance Smith, University of Manchester

João Tonucci, Federal University of Minas Gerais

Image credit
T. Nagar market, Chennai, India. McKay Savage. CC 2.0,