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Not WEIRD at all! Towards More Pluralistic Economies and Sustainable Livelihoods

Little, Vicki J. and Ping Ho, Helen H. and Eti-Tofinga, Buriata (2023) Not WEIRD at all! Towards More Pluralistic Economies and Sustainable Livelihoods. Journal of Macromarketing, 43 (2). NA. ISSN 0276-1467

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Sustainability discourses are dominated by Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic (WEIRD) perspectives. Critics call for remedies to patriarchy, capitalism, and colonialism; and for work that is inclusive of women, non-market influences, and epistemologies of the global South. Focusing on women’s work, this paper interrogates the epistemic and practical injustices of geography and gender. The empirical domain is a middle income economy, offering insight from the space between WEIRD and subsistence extremes. 15 case studies of Malay female micro-entrepreneurs draw on interview, observational and secondary data, tracing the effects of market formalization on market actors. Despite subordinate social status, the women provide reliable income streams for their families. However, their livelihoods are threatened by rapidly formalizing markets. Market formalization crowds out the small and diverse in favor of the large and multinational. To address that problem, a pro-social systems view is required, based on pluralistic conceptions of economies and markets. Drawing on Gibson-Graham’s diverse economies perspective we derive 12 propositions supporting sustainable livelihoods. Sustainable livelihoods support quality of life and wellbeing, are embedded in less damaging and more inclusive (vs patriarchal, colonial and capitalistic) provisioning systems, in turn embedded in epistemologies that are reflexively conscious of power dynamics and the WEIRD hegemony. In line with the paradoxes and tensions in sustainability thinking we call for pluralism: Conscious acceptance of all economic approaches, formal and informal, state and non-state, global and local, capitalist and planned; with an emphasis on physical, emotional and social well-being, self-determination, diversity, health, and happiness for the many rather than wealth for the few.

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: social sustainability, livelihoods, micro-entrepreneurship, informal markets, market formalization, critical epistemology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HS Societies secret benevolent etc
Divisions: School of Business and Management (SBM)
Depositing User: Buriata Tofinga
Date Deposited: 16 May 2023 03:49
Last Modified: 16 May 2023 03:49

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