chapter  14
15 Pages

The future of solidarity

Food cooperativism as labour
WithTheodoros Rakopoulos

This chapter investigates a popular social response to austerity and recession, focusing on informal cooperative organisation and ideas on social change based on a case study from contemporary Greece's anti-middleman food distribution movement. It systematises the conceptual framework of solidarity, relevant in current anthropological discussion, by evaluating how participants locate it within ideas of labour. The chapter highlights a more nuanced tension between the social and solidarity economy and cooperatives. Linking labour to cooperatives elucidates how a recognition of labour offers a work prospect that can act as a binding element among the different activities and desires of those participating in the solidarity economy. In Greek solidarity economy, participants envision the resilience of their project through fixating their reciprocity-based activity into the category of 'work', via projecting it to forms of cooperativism. The horizontalism of cooperatives is framed in dynamic configurations 'creating' small-scale markets and welcoming friendly state policies.