top of page

Week 3 (May 18-22, 2020) - Socializing the Economy (Modules 5 and 6)

Week  3 Lecture PPT

“We’re all in this together, but we are not in this together equally.”

~Jesse Wente, Metro Morning, CBC Radio 1 (April 13, 2020)

Week 3 unravels some of the main struggles, tensions, requirements,
and potential of socializing the economy broadly, with both a global
perspective and a Canadian focus in mind.

Module 5 explores already-existing spheres of economic democracy –

the social and solidarity economy (SSE) – the socio-economic spheres
straddling the public and private sectors, and the spaces of life where
solidarity; formal but less exploited and “informal” work; mutually beneficial exchange; and mutual aid prevail. While
introducing and focusing primarily on cooperatives, we will also keep sight of how economic democracy and participative work practices already unfold within most of the SSE’s many organizational forms, which also include: volunteer, not-for-profit, and charity organizations; social enterprises; and community collectives of all kinds. We also briefly touch on proposals that localize capital and economic life, such as community wealth and credit unions, and consider briefly broadening social safety nets via the idea of universal/guaranteed basic income (which we will discuss more in Module 11), all vital in responding to and rebuilding our economies during and after COVID-19.

Module 6 then homes in on already-existing and long-historical spaces of economic democracy, now considered parts of the SSE, that often remain invisible to mainstream society: the Black social economy and Indigenous ways of organizing and thinking about economic life, embracing practices of gifting, sharing, and non-linear ways of knowing and organizing. Supplemental readings here also delve into other already-existing spaces of economic activity, such as domestic/gendered economies, and other marginalized or criminalized spaces and practices such as reappropriation/theft, dumpster diving, DIY practices, fix-it-yourself groups, hacking, and so on. All should be seriously reconsidered and spaces of inspiration for the rebuilding to come post-COVID-19.

Module 5 - Already Existing Economic Democracy, Part 1: The Social and Solidarity Economy

Required Reading

Quarter, Jack, Laurie Mook, & Ann Armstrong. (2018). Ch. 1, An Introduction to Canada’s Social Economy. In Understanding the Social Economy: A Canadian Perspective. Toronto: University of Toronto Press (pp. 3-32).

Vieta, Marcelo. (2020). The Emergence of the Social and Solidarity Economy. In Workers’ Self-Management in Argentina: Contesting Neo-liberalism by Occupying Companies, Creating Cooperatives, and Recuperating Autogestión. Leiden: Brill (pp. 339-347).

Required COVID-19 Reading

Dardot, Pierre & Laval, Christian. (2020). The Pandemic as Political Trial: The Case for a Global Commons. Roar. (Mar. 28).

Vieta, Marcelo & Fiona Duguid. (2020). Canada’s Co-operatives: Helping Communities During and After the Coronavirus . The Conversation Canada. (Apr. 19).

Benner, Chris & Manuel Pastor. (2020). Solidarity Economics—For the Coronavirus and Beyond. The American Prospect. (Mar. 23).

Supplemental Reading

Kawano, Emily. (2018). Solidarity Economy: Building an Economy for People and Planet. The Next System.

Gismondi, Mike, Sean Connelly, Mary Beckie, Sean Markey, & Marke Roseland. (2020). Scaling Up: The Convergence of Social Economy and Sustainability. Athabasca: AU Press.

Michie, Jonathan, Joseph Blasi, & Carlo Borzaga. (Eds.). (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Mutual, Co-operative, and Co-owned Business. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press

Marthe Nyssens & Jacques Defourny. (2012). The EMES Approach of Social Enterprise in a Comparative Perspective. Working Paper No. 12/03, EMES European Research Network (pp. 1-20).

Gonzales, Vanna. (2010). Italian Social Cooperatives and the Development of Civic Capacity: A Case of Cooperative Renewal? Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action, 4(1) (pp. 225-251).

North, Peter. (2014). Ch. 12, Complementary Currencies. In M. Parker, G. Cheney, V. Fournier, & C. Land (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization. London: Routledge (pp. 182-194).

Pennington, E., Lerner, J., & Schugurensky, D. (2009). Participatory Budgeting in North America: The Case of Guelph, Canada. Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, 21(3) (pp. 455-484).


Listen to Emily Kwano’s “Resist & Build”: Discussing the Solidarity Economy. (The Next System Podcast, Feb. 12, 2018).


Additional Resources

Ontario Non-Profit Network. (2020). Ontario Nonprofits and the Impact of COVID-19: A flash survey report. (Apr. 6).

ILO. (2020). Cooperatives and Wider SSE Enterprises Respond to COVID-19 Disruptions, and Government Measures are Being put in Place (rolling coverage). International Labour Organization News.

Module 6 - Already Existing Economic Democracy, Part 2: The Black Social Economy and Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Organizing

Required Reading

Hossein, Caroline. (2019). A Black Epistemology for the Social and Solidarity Economy: The Black Social Economy. The Review of Black Political Economy, 46(3), 209-229.

Koukkanen, Rauna. (2011). Indigenous Economies, Theories of Subsistence, and Women: Exploring the Social Economy Model for Indigenous Governance. American Indian Quarterly, 35(2), 215-240.


Required COVID-19 Reading

Timothy, Roberta. (2020). Coronavirus is not the great equalizer—Race Matters. The Conversation Canada. (Apr. 6).

Hossein, Caroline. (2020). Mutual Aid and Physical Distancing Are Not New for Marginalized and Black Communities in the Americas. HistPhil. (Mar. 24).

Coletta, Amanda & Heloísa Traiano. (2020). The world’s indigenous peoples, with tragic history of disease, implore outsiders to keep coronavirus away. The Washington Post. (Mar. 31).

Mendelson, Rachel. (2020). Has Canada’s Urban Indigenous Population Been Forgotten Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic? The Toronto Star. (Apr. 16).

Supplemental Reading

Davis, Angela. (2017). Abolition and Refusal. In A.T. Lamas, T. Wolfson, & P. Funke. The Great Refusal: Herbert Marcuse and Contemporary Social Movements. Philadpelphia: Temple University Press (pp. vii-xi).

Hossein, Caroline (Ed.). (2018). The Black Social Economy in the Americas: Exploring Diverse Community-Based Alternative Markets. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gordon-Nembhard, Jessica. (2014). Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice. Philadelphia: Penn State University Press.

Akuno, Kali & Ajamu Nangwaya. (2017). Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Black Self-Determination in Jackson, Mississippi. Montreal: Daraja Press.

Giovannini, Michela. (2014). Indigenous Community Enterprises in Chiapas: A Vehicle for Buen Vivir? Community Development Journal, 50(1) (pp. 71-87).

Sangupta, Ushnish, Marcelo Vieta, & JJ McMurtry. (2015). Indigenous Social Enterprise in Canada. Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Enterprise Research, 6(1) (pp. 104-123).

Rehn, Alf. (2014). Ch. 13, Gifts, Gifting and Gift Economies: On Challenging Capitalism with Blood, Plunder and Necklaces. In M. Parker, G. Cheney, V. Fournier, & C. Land (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization. London: Routledge (pp. 195-211).

Courtesy tricontinental

bottom of page