Subsistence under Capitalism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

Subsistence under Capitalism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives


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Subsistence under Capitalism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives by James Murton, Dean Bavington, Carly Dokis

The complex relationship between subsistence practices and formal markets should be a growing matter of concern for those uneasy with the stark contrast between commercial and local food systems, especially since self-provisioning has never been limited to the margins. In fact, subsistence occupies a central space in local and global economies and networks. Bringing together essays from diverse disciplines to reflect on the meaning of subsistence in theory and in practice, in historical and contemporary contexts, in Canada and beyond, Subsistence under Capitalism is a collective study of the ways in which local food systems have been relegated to the shadows by the drive to establish and expand capitalist markets. Considering fishing, farming, and other forms of subsistence provisioning, the essays in this volume document the persistence of these practices despite capitalist government policies that actively seek to subsume them. Presenting viable alternatives to capitalist production and exchange, the contributors explain the critical interplay between politics, local provisioning, and the ultimate survival of society. Illuminating new kinds of engagements with nature and community, Subsistence under Capitalism looks behind the scenes of subsistence food provisioning to challenge the dominant economic paradigm of the modern world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780773547001
Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
Publication date: 06/22/2016
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

James Murton is chair and associate professor of history at Nipissing University. Dean Bavington is associate professor of geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Carly Dokis is assistant professor of anthropology at Nipissing University.

Table of Contents

Table and Figures ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: Why Subsistence? James Mutton Dean Bavington Carly Dokis 3

Part 1 Making Markets by Pushing Subsistence into the Shadows

1 The Seeds of Calculability: The Home Farms Experiment on and off the Books Sarah J. Martin 40

2 Blurring the Boundaries: Subsistence and Recreational Fisheries in Late-Nineteenth-Century Ontario William Knight 60

3 Spinning Flax in Mills, Households, and the Canadian State, 1850-1870 Joshua MacFadyen 76

4 Rural Households, Subsistence, and Environment on the Canadian Shield, 1901-1940 R.W. Sandwell 103

Part 2 Keeping and Remaking Subsistence

5 Fishing for Subsistence, Spore, and Sovereignty on Lake Nipissing Nancy Pottery 147

6 Aboriginal Subsistence Practices in an "Isolated" Region of Northern Alberta Clinton N. Westman 162

7 Working with Fish in the Shadows of Sustainability Jennifer Lee Johnson Bakaaki Robert 195

8 Rethinking the Legacies of "Subsistence Thinking" Michael J. Hathaway 234

9 Alternative Agriculture, the Vernacular, and the MST: Re-creating Subsistence as the Sustainable Development of Human Rights M. Jahi Chappell 254

Part 3 Coming to Terms with Subsistence Studies

10 Research by People: A Panel Discussion on Living Subsistence Locally Dean Bavington Jennifer Hough Evans 298

11 In Defence of Vernacular Ways Sajay Samuel 318

12 On the Semantics of Theorizing the Cause(s) of the Shadows, or How to Think about Counting the Differences between a Wild Edible Mushroom and a Super Tanker, Neither of Which Fits the Commodity Form Colin A.M. Duncan 346

Conclusion James Murton Dean Bavington Carly Dokis 368

Contributors 373

Index 377

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