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Economic moralities in self-organised alternative economies: the Finnish cases of ridesharing and timebanking

Teppo Eskelinen (Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä Finland)
Juhana Venäläinen (School of Humanities, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 3 July 2020

Issue publication date: 26 May 2021

221

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores economic moralities in self-organised alternative economies and argues that the diverse economies approach is particularly useful in elaborating the self-understandings of such economic communities. The analysis focuses on two types of alternative economies in Finland: ridesharing and timebanking.

Design/methodology/approach

Through qualitative data, the paper looks into moments of negotiation where economic moralities of self-organised alternative economies are explicitly debated. The main research data consists of social media conversations, supplemented by a member survey for the participants of the studied timebank. The data are analysed through theory-guided qualitative content analysis.

Findings

The analysis shows that the moments of negotiation within alternative economies should not be understood as simple collisions of mutually exclusive ideas, but rather as complex processes of balancing between overlapping and partly incommensurable economic moralities. While self-organised alternative economies might appear as functionally uniform at the level of their everyday operations, they still provide considerable leeway for different conceptions of the underlying normative commitments.

Originality/value

To date, there is little qualitative research on how the participants of self-organised alternative economies reflect the purpose and ethics of these practices. This study contributes to the body of diverse economies research by analysing novel case studies in the Finnish context. Through empirical analysis, this paper also provides a theoretical framework of how the different economic moralities in self-organised alternative economies can be mapped.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research has been supported by Kone Foundation in the context of the research project “Rights, exclusion and the social production of value within organisations of the new economy”.

Citation

Eskelinen, T. and Venäläinen, J. (2021), "Economic moralities in self-organised alternative economies: the Finnish cases of ridesharing and timebanking", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 41 No. 5/6, pp. 657-672. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-11-2019-0241

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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