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Senior Research Seminar: Professor Benoit de L’Estoile

When Oct 13, 2017
from 04:15 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Edmund Leach Room Department of Social Anthropology Free School Lane, Cambridge
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Professor Benoit de L’Estoile, (PSL Research University)

Is the Economy really real? Economic notions, economic framing and beyond

Why is “the economy” granted a privileged ontological status as being considered as “really real”? The economic language offers efficient tools for describing the world we live in, because it provides ideal typical constructions. The ‘economic framing’, reproducing the hegemonic definition of reality in our society, is imposed upon lived experience. The paper challenge this assumption from an ethnographic prospective. Based on ethnographic inquiries in former sugarcane plantations in the Northeastern region of Brazil and in Rio de Janeiro favelas, I discuss the adequacy of ‘economic framings’ to account for the lived reality of the actors to describe their situation and actions. I explore the alternative framework of oikonomia, « government of the house », as offering an ideal-typical construction helping us to design alternative modes of description and explanation.

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