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`A hopeful but nonetheless hard-hitting analysis of alternative economic spaces proliferating in the belly of the capitalist beast. In this book Leyshon, Lee and Williams convene fascinating studies of exchange, enterprise, credit and community. They invite us onto a new and promising discursive terrain where we can analyze, criticize and above all recognize actually existing economies of diversity in the wealthy countries of the West' - J K Gibson-Graham, Australian National University and University of Massachusetts, Amherst In the context of problems in the "new economy" - from dot.com start-ups, high-technology, and telecoms - Alternative Economic Spaces presents a critical evaluation of alternatives to the global economic mainstream. It focuses on the emergence of alternative economic geographies within developed economies and analyzes the emergence of alternative economic practices within industrialized countries. These include the creation of institutions like Local Exchange and Trading Systems, Credit Unions, and other social economy initiatives; and the development of alternative practices from informal work to the invention of consumption sites that act as alternatives to the monoply of the `big-box', multi-chain retail outlets. Alternative Economic Spaces is a reconsideration of what is meant by the `economic' in economic geography; its objective is to bring together some of the ways in which this is being undertaken. The volume shows how the `economic' is being rethought in economic geography by detailing new economic geographies as they are emerging in practice.

Alternative Retail Spaces
Alternative retail spaces
LouiseCrewe, NickyGregson and KateBrooks

One of the ways in which we might begin to theorize ‘the alternative’ is in respect of labour processes and the spaces in which work takes place. As other contributors have noted, formal labour markets are fragmenting and becoming more differentiated, which is in turn raising conceptual questions about the meanings of work. Both the spatialities and the temporalities of work are said to be shifting, away from predictable and routinized working hours in large firms, towards much more fragmented, unpredictable and unstable working practices. And what is becoming clear is that analytical oppositions between formal/informal, paid/unpaid, mainstream/alternative work are becoming less and less useful in theorizing emergent labour processes within contemporary western economies.

In this chapter we ...

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