The 'Social' as Metaphor and the Case of Cooperatives: A Critique of Economic Individualism

1st Edition

Marie L. Pellegrin-Rescia

Routledge
Published December 15, 2017
Reference - 254 Pages
ISBN 9780815398264 - CAT# K344826

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Summary

Drawing on Polanyi, Austin and Lacan, Marie Pellegrin-Rescia and Yair Levi offer a powerful critique of the language and categories of thought that dominate the contemporary intellectual and political landscape. The general tendency to dichotomize concepts such as left and right, social and economic, globalization and anti-globalization, is, they argue, a consequence of our subservience to the primacy of the rational economic agent. The authors offer a selection of case-studies of co-operatives, which are shown to be paradoxical entities in a worldview in which the social exists only as a metaphor for a space concerned with the damage caused by the economic. Through an analysis of experiences in achieving civil accord in South Africa and in establishing a new town in the mountains of Sicily, they offer a new political orientation in a world of uncertainty. In doing so they attempt an answer to one of the most intriguing questions of our time: should we accept as a fait-accompli the way our society is conceived and shaped, or can we have a say in the matter and assume the ethical responsibility involved?

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