• People Before Markets:

    An Alternative Case Book

    From the Introduction:
    If you are reading this, then you probably came to school to make the world a bit better and are interested in solving problems. As professors, we’ve noticed that, in fact, the reason a lot of people get an education is so that they can get a job that will then let them help people and solve problems out in the world somewhere. While we think this desire to be practical and effective and helpful out there in the great world beyond is admirable, there are some serious issues with how practical education currently works in the university. As it is, many of the tools and ideas that people learn in their education start with the assumptions that people should be taken as individuals and are often greedy. Because of this greedy individualism, the best sort of society we can (and should) hope for is one that approximates a market in which people are individually free to buy and sell things, as well as themselves, as much as they are able. We feel, as do many of the people we work with, that this market-forward approach to life often hurts far more people than it helps. This book is meant to illustrate why this is and provide you with some alternative ways to change the world.
  • About the book and this website

    People Before Markets is a practical case book published by Cambridge University Press and edited by Daniel Souleles, Morten Sørensen Thaning, and Johan Gersel.


    As part of writing this book, many of the editors and authors created classroom teaching materials, supplementary reading lists, and explanatory videos to go with their chapters. This website is meant to make that supplementary material as widely available as possible.


    Below, organized by chapter, you can find all supplementary material.


    Should you wish to purchase the book, you can do so here.


    Should you have any questions about the book or the supplementary material, feel free to write to Dan at ds[dot]mpp[at]cbs[dot]dk. He'll be happy to hear from you and will try to sort you out.




    NB: This website is unapologetically web 1.0 as we were unable to secure funding from either our University or our Publisher for something more elegant. Still, we are excited to share this material with you. Please feel free to use this as you see fit in your teaching and circulate it among your peers and colleagues. Should you circulate material from this website, please be sure to attribute authorship. We do not grant permission for commercial use of any of this material.



  • Chapter by Chapter Supplementary Material

    List of Chapters Followed by Supplementary Material in Chapter Order

    1 Introduction: Why are you here? -- Daniel Souleles and Johan Gersel


    2 Some Philosophical Help with "Neoliberalism" -- Johan Gersel and Morgen Sørensen Thaning


    3 Where Should Food Come From? -- Hilary King and Andrea Rising


    4 Where Should Water Come From? -- Sayd Randle


    5 Who Gets to Own Land? -- Douglas Bafford


    6 How Should Food be Produced? -- Scott Freeman


    7 Who Decides Where They Live? -- Elisha Oliver


    8 How Much Land Do We Need? -- Ina Goel


    9 Where Should We Park? -- Daniel Souleles


    10 How Should We Deal With Climate Change? -- Aneil Tripathy


    11 How Should We Make an Impact? -- Matthew Archer


    12 Why do Some People Want to Manage Human Fertility? -- Michelle A. Rensel and Rachel Vaughn


    13 How Should Childbirth Happen? -- Amanda Shapiro


    14 Who is Responsible for Children's Food? -- Jennifer Patico


    15 How Should We Care for the Elderly? -- Amy Clotworthy


    16 How are People who Take Drugs Treated? -- Johannes Lenhard and Eana Meng


    17 How Should We Design Access to a Health Care System? -- Johan Gersel, Daniel Souleles, Morten Sørensen Thaning


    18 What Should a Job Look Like? -- Hannah Elliott


    19 How Should Innovation Work? -- Michael Scroggins


    20 Who Should Get Investment Capital? -- Melissa Beresford


    21 Who Should Own a Business? -- David Wood and Lenore Palladino


    22 How Should the Government Decide from whom to Buy Stuff? -- Jeppe Groot



    1 Introduction: Why are you here?

    Daniel Souleles and Johan Gersel


    Apologies, no supplementary material just yet.


    2 Some Philosophical Help with "Neoliberalism"

    Johan Gersel and Morgen Sørensen Thaning


    Apologies, no supplementary material just yet.


    3 Where Should Food Come From?

    Hilary King and Andrea Rising



    Teaching Activities

    Activity 1:

    How What We Measure Shows What We Value: Examining USDA Data

    Activity 2:

    Mapping Diverse Food Systems Where You Live

    Activity 3:

    Film or Podcast Discussion

    Gather - A Film on Indigenous Food Sovereignty

    The Serviceberry: An Economy of Abundance - Robin Wall Kimmerer

    Additional Readings/Materials


    Teaching Activities

    Activity 1:

    How What We Measure Shows What We Value: Examining USDA Data

    Activity Overview: Through this activity, students will use NASS Quick Stats to analyze data that has historically been collected by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Students undertake rapid individual or small group research and then discuss as a group what their research suggests about what has been valued.

    Step by Step:

    • Either individually or in small groups, have students navigate to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Quick Stats page. This website collates and makes publicly accessible decades of USDA census and farm survey data.

    • Using the drop down menus, have students select “Census” for “Program,” “Crops” for “Sector,” and “Field Crops” for “Group.” This will bring them to a drop down menu for “Commodity,” with several dozen commodity crops available to select.

    • From the “commodity” list, ask them to first select “corn” and explore what options this brings up on the following “Category” and “Data item” menus. Using the data collected by the USDA, what things can we know (or what questions can we answer) about corn production in the United States? At what geographical levels can we know these things? Then, have students select two other commodities - maybe one they are familiar with, and one they are not. Using the data collected by the USDA, what things can we know about these crops? How do the number of “data items” available for each of these crops differ?

    • Either in groups or as a class, discuss the differences you notice in the depth and breadth of available information for corn compared to other crops. Possible discussion questions could include:

      • Which crops has the USDA invested more data resources in?

      • What does this tell us about what the USDA’s priorities, values, or assumptions are?

      • What kinds of information is NOT available through the USDA’s Quick Stats website, and what additional information does this tell about what the USDA’s priorities, values, and assumptions are?

      • What are some alternative metrics you think would be important for sustainable food systems?


    Activity 2:

    Mapping Diverse Food Systems Where You Live

    Activity Overview: This is a joint in-class activity through which students will make a map of different types of food provisioning options in a familiar geographic area. The purpose is to highlight the diversity that is close to them about which they may be unaware and to seed possible future engagements outside of the classroom.

    Step by Step:

    • Make a Class Google Food Map using My Maps: https://www.mymaps.google.com. Determine the boundaries that you want to set (these could be the city where the class is located, or a larger geographic area including rural areas, a county, etc, but what works best is a geographic area that most students would be familiar with). Share access to everyone in the class.

    • Divide the students into small groups. Assign each group a different category of where to get food that are appropriate to your location and language (categories that we have used include: supermarket/grocery store, convenience store, fast food restaurant, farmers market, farm, orchard, food banks/food pantries, food cooperative, community supported agriculture, community garden, farm-to-table restaurant, gleaning, edible landscaping, fruit trees in parks, etc).

    • Ask each student group to do an internet search to identify at least two examples of their category within the geographic area. Using the My Map Food Map, have students drop a pin locating the example on the shared map (you can have each category choose a different color). They can also add a hyperlink to appropriate websites for the examples that they choose.

    • Once students have added a number of examples in the different categories, discuss the variety of different kinds of food system actors in this specific area. If there is sufficient time, you could ask groups to share the most interesting example that they found. Possible discussion questions include:

      • What kinds of diverse food systems already exist near you based on this map? Which of these food system actors are you familiar with? Are there any that surprised you?

      • Which of these locations sells food? Which produce food? Which of these are chains? Which seem to be locally owned? How do the kinds of food that you would get at these locations differ?

      • The conclusion to Where Should Food Come From? suggests that there are already many different experiments happening in food systems. Likely, some of what you have identified in this exercise include some of those experiments. Which of them appeal to you? Which would you like to see grow or receive additional supports?


    Activity 3:

    Film or Podcast Discussion

    Activity Overview: Host a film screening or assign a podcast and then discuss the themes of as a class. There are several that we recommend:

    Gather - A Film on Indigenous Food Sovereignty

    Gather is a documentary film that follows several Native Americans as they reclaim spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. It is available on Netflix in the United States.

    • Here is an excellent Toolkit for screening that includes additional resources.

    • Sample Questions to Consider: What principles do the people in the film follow in relation to their food? How do these differ from the principles of industrial food systems examined in the Where should food come from? chapter? What is the relationship between industrial food systems and colonization? How does the film challenge what our food system could look like? What does food mean to the people that this documentary follows, and what are the implications of those connections for how food should be produced and distributed? What are the characteristics of a food system that would be desirable according to this film? What prevents our food system from moving in that direction?

    The Serviceberry: An Economy of Abundance - Robin Wall Kimmerer

    This podcast (or essay, you can read or listen) looks at assumptions that underlie how systems work, particularly thinking about economics as the study of scarcity. Kimmerer uses serviceberries to posit a different set of relations that make exchanges work - abundance. This is a thought-provoking piece that relates to questions posed by this chapter about measurement.

    • Sample Questions to Consider: What are the principles of gift economies? How do these contrast with market economies? What does Kimmerer mean when she talks about an economy of abundance? How does the serviceberry exemplify this? Kimmerer puts gratitude at the center of her understanding of gift economies. How does this impact what is focused, and what exchange is for, in this context? What concrete examples does she give of this? How does focusing on an economy of abundance make us think differently about where food comes from, and how it should be distributed as a result?


    Additional Readings/Materials

    • Short open letter from 2021 written by a peasant farmer from Zimbabwe and a leader in the Nicaragua Land Workers’ Association explaining their decision to boycott the UN Food Systems Summit.

    • What can the internet teach us about resilient food systems?” - This short OECD opinion piece posits that a focus on specialization decreases the ability of food systems to respond in stressful conditions, contrasting that to the redundancy of internet infrastructure. Salvador’s piece invites readers to reflect on how measuring something by how it functions under optimum conditions versus under stressful ones leads to different approaches.



    4 Where Should Water Come From?

    Sayd Randle


    Introductory Video from the author : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1n2-sgoquUerWI2pFz7aKeXiW9n4sUP9W/view


    Teaching Activity


    Where does your drinking water come from? How is that going to change in the climate-changed future, and how will those changes affect local environments and social equity?


    As the chapter demonstrates, urban water provision is often complicated and contested. Given this complexity, it is easy for residents to remain unaware of the sources of their drinking water, the institutions that manage the resource, and those entities’ plans for adapting to shifting hydrological realities. This exercise allows students to investigate these questions within a grounded, local context, and to consider questions about the connection between water systems and social equity.


    Expected duration: 45 minutes (20 research, 15 presentations, 10 wrap up discussion)


    Activity plan: In small groups, students will enter the (occasionally) wild world of water management documents to learn about local drinking water sources, management arrangements, and plans to adapt these systems to emergent hydrological stressors associated with global climate change. In brief presentations based on a classroom research exercise, each group will explain a different jurisdiction’s water provision arrangements and consider how planned changes to the water system could affect local environmental quality and low-income access to the resource. In a concluding all-class discussion, students will brainstorm together to develop a set of shared principles that they believe should guide urban water management decision making towards equitable, environmentally benign outcomes.


    Detailed instructions: Working in small groups with access to a computer, students will be tasked with identifying the entity that provides drinking water within a local jurisdiction, finding that organization’s website, and examining its publicly available planning documents. These materials can take many forms depending on the context, and institutions may have several different management plans or reports for students to peruse. Instructors are encouraged to preview the available materials for several local jurisdictions and consider assigning student groups to research different areas based on the course focus and educational goals. For some courses, selecting a range of non-local jurisdictions might be more interesting or appropriate.


    Each student group will develop a short research-based presentation that addresses the following questions:


    • Where (spatially speaking) does that jurisdiction’s drinking water come from? What rivers, reservoirs, wastewater treatment facilities, desalination plants, or groundwater basins provide the resource that flows through local taps?
    • What institution (public or private) sells that water to residents? What institutions (public or private) provide that water retailer with their sources? Explain the relationship between the organization that sells to water users and any organizations that supply the water consumed within the jurisdiction.
    • What changes does the local water purveyor anticipate within the water provision system in the decades ahead? Are they, for instance, seeking new water sources or investing in conservation measures to cut local consumption?
    • What do you anticipate the impacts of these proposed changes to water provision arrangements will be on the local environment and the cost of water? What impacts might these changes have on the ability of low-income residents to access adequate water for their daily needs?


    These presentations will enable students to both understand a particular set of water provision arrangements (and plans) and develop a sense of the variation in regimes of supply and management among a range of jurisdictions. After all groups have presented, the instructor will lead the students in a reflection on these findings. Some useful questions might include: which of the systems sounds like it has the most ecologically sustainable plan for the future? Which system sounds the fairest for all users? This discussion will serve as a starting point for the group to brainstorm a list of five principles that could guide environmentally benign, socially just urban water management for their town in the decades ahead. If students get stuck, the instructor is encouraged to refer to the students’ findings and conclusions about their case studies, to consider how proposed principles align or diverge from those arrangements.


    List of supporting materials: To complete this exercise, students will need access to an internet-connected computer. Alternatively, instructors could choose case study jurisdictions in advance of the session and print the relevant water management documents for students to use during the session.


    Reading List


    “Where Should Drinking Water Come From?” Reading List

    Sayd Randle


    The purpose of this watery list is to help students think about water provision and consumption at multiple scales. Most of the works listed are grounded in the chapter’s California context, offering in-depth analyses of the histories, institutions, technologies, and ideas that shape water challenges in the region. As the chapter attests, enormous, expensive water facilities like desalination plants play a powerful role in shaping water availability and rates here. Such infrastructures also affect local marine environments and global carbon concentrations, highlighting the wide-ranging impacts of water provision arrangements. As the development of water infrastructure is often facilitated by public agencies and private companies, the list includes several accounts focused on the role of those institutions in facilitating both urban development and patterns of inequality. Other readings focus on a more intimate scale, addressing domestic water conservation and waste, to help students consider how issues of wealth, power, and equity are refracted through these everyday practices. The profligate water consumption of elites, like the unidentified “Wet Prince of Bel Air” and the celebrity Kim Kardashian-West, is an important piece of the water story here. As water activist Laura Allen’s detailed account of “water-wise” homes attests, there are certainly less resource-intensive ways to sustain beautiful yards and gardens.



    Infrastructures, histories, and institutions


    • Bacigalupi, Paolo. 2015. The Water Knife. New York: Vintage.


    Bacigalupi, a former environmental journalist based in the U.S. West, draws on his wealth of knowledge about the region’s water history and networks to craft this climate-fiction thriller about its parched, deeply unequal future.

    • Cooley, Heather and Newsha Ajami. 2012. Key Issues for Seawater Desalination in California: Cost and Financing. Pacific Institute. https://pacinst.org/publication/costs-and-financing-of-seawater-desalination-in-california/

    This systematic report, prepared by workers at The Pacific Institute, a non-profit water think-tank based in Oakland, California, outlines why, exactly, desalinated water is so expensive to produce.

    • Erie, Steven. 2006. Beyond Chinatown: The Metropolitan Water District, Growth, and the Environment in Southern California. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.

    In this detailed history of the Metropolitan Water District, scholar Steven Erie traces an institution’s slow evolution from straightforward growth-facilitator to ambivalent environmental steward.


    • Gottlieb, Robert and Margaret Fitzsimmons. 1988. Thirst for Growth: Water Agencies as Hidden Government in Southern California. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press.

    This now-classic critical account of water development in Southern California highlights the connections between public water agencies and private capital, raising key questions about the role of the state in enabling environmentally questionable forms of growth.

    • Morgan, Ruth. 2017. The Allure of Climate and Water Independence: Desalination Projects in Perth and San Diego. Journal of Urban History 46(1): 113-128. https://doi.org/10.1177/0096144217692990.

    Comparing desalination projects in Australia and Southern California, Morgan examines the increasingly powerful notion of “water independence” and how it shapes water planning priorities and investments.

    • Reisner, Marc. 1986. Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. New York: Penguin.

    Dated, but powerful: Reisner’s deeply researched journalistic polemic on the logics and contradictions of the dams that have made the U.S. West stands the test of time and is honestly just fun as hell to read.


    • Rivard, Ry. 2016. San Diego’s Oversupply of Water Reaches a New, Absurd Level. Voice of San Diego, February 2. https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/government/san-diegos-oversupply-of-water-reaches-a-new-absurd-level/

    A journalistic account of San Diego’s decision to dump its expensive, desalinated water into a local lake (rather than into the water distribution system) at the height of a drought. Rivard, a longtime reporter for the Voice, penned many excellent articles about this project over the years and all are available and free to access.

    • Williams, Joe. 2018. Assembling the Water Factory: Seawater Desalination and the Techno-Politics of Water Privatisation in the San Diego-Tijuana Metropolitan Region. Geoforum 93: 32-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.04.022.

    A critical geographer’s take on how venture capital helped bring desalination (and water privatization) to San Diego.

    Consumption, conservation, and waste

    • Allen, Laura. 2015. The Water-Wise Home: How to Conserve, Capture, and Reuse Water in Your Home and Landscape. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.

    Greywater Action co-founder and longtime water activist Laura Allen’s comprehensive how-to book is the quintessential guide to thinking anew about how domestic water and land can be managed.

    • Barragan, Bianca. 2015. The Kardashians are Being Amazing Jerks About Wasting Water During the California Drought. Curbed Los Angeles, August 27. https://la.curbed.com/2015/8/27/9926362/kim-kardashian-kylie-jenner-drought-water

    TLDR: the Kardashians have not read Laura Allen’s book, or at least have been very slow at adopting her recommendations.


    • Graeber, David. 2001. Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value: The False Coin of Our Own Dreams. New York: Palgrave.


    An eloquent rebuttal to all the people who try to tell you that “deep down, all people are fundamentally selfish.” Graeber mobilizes a tremendous range of anthropological research to make the case that, in fact, humans are more complex than that and there’s some ideological work going on when folks make such claims.


    Lopez, Steve. 2015. Drought posse searching for Bel Air’s biggest water waster. Los Angeles Times, October 10. https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-1011-lopez-belair-20151011-column.html


    This tale of the search for a mega water consumer at the height of a drought underscores just how much room there is to conserve the resource in this semi-arid region.



    5 Who Gets to Own Land

    Douglas Bafford


    Classroom activity


    People Before Markets: An Alternative Case Book

    Land Politics Around the Globe

    Duration: Forty-five to seventy-five minutes (depending on class size and time to devote to each group’s case study)

    Explanation: This activity invites students to apply the frameworks they learn about in the chapter to contestations over land in settings outside southern Africa. The purpose of the exercise is to foster conversations among small groups in which participants consider the parallels to how “land questions” have been addressed across postcolonial contexts around the globe. Depending on the technology and resources available to students in the classroom, they should locate either original research that analyzes land tenure in a setting outside South Africa and Zimbabwe or primary sources/journalistic accounts that present contemporary protests or social movements surrounding access to land. Through small-group and professor-mediated discussion, they should refine the skills needed to find and evaluate these sources and place them in cross-cultural, comparative perspective with the data presented in the chapter.

    Instructions: Introduce the activity and give a brief overview of the steps involved, including how much time they will have for research/discussion and when they should reconvene with the full class. Divide students into groups of three to four (or slightly larger, depending on the enrollment of the course), setting aside a location where each group can meet (whether in the classroom or virtually). Direct each group to choose one national or cultural setting of mutual interest where disputes over land have been contentious over the past several years (point them to some of the resources listed here if you would like, or include others, especially if your institution subscribes to specialist databases). They may take five to ten minutes to brainstorm possible cases, but they should then work collectively to research the topic by searching through scholarly databases and news outlets of relevance to their chosen site. If students have ready access to computers with an internet connection, this research can be done in the classroom, but other possibilities are to bring them to a library to complete the exercise. Ask students to spend approximately twenty minutes (after the initial five to ten minutes discussing their research plans as a group) locating articles and other media that address the following questions:

    • How is land discussed in public discourse?
    • Where do various parties disagree over how land ought to be used? Who specifically are entering into these discussions?
    • When did contestations over land ownership emerge in the sources you have located?
    • What assumptions do writers, activists, and interviewees make about the nature of land tenure and ownership?
    • Do you notice any parallels (or contrasts) with the case studies presented in the chapter?

    Each group should be prepared to share what they discovered in their research with the rest of the class. Depending on the size of the class, allot each group a few minutes to present an overview of the historical and social context of the case they chose. You may find it helpful to allow them to answer any of the questions that were especially relevant for the case they chose. Try to ask follow-up questions to get at the heart of various models (some perhaps more or less neoliberal) for envisioning people’s attachment to and management of the land. While students may already draw connections with the southern African case studies, it could be a useful technique to point out similarities in postcolonial dilemmas of addressing structural inequalities in land tenure. Feel free to modify these questions or structure the conversations to meet your course’s needs.


    Supporting Materials:

    As they complete the activity, students may find the following resources helpful. Most of these organizations are dedicated to supporting research on land rights, and each site links to recently written articles and reports on land issues in different regions.

    Human Rights Watch. “Land Rights.” https://www.hrw.org/tag/land-rights

    Indian Law Resource Center. “Land Rights.” https://indianlaw.org/issue/land-rights

    Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies. https://www.plaas.org.za/

    Landesa. https://www.landesa.org/

    United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. “Land Tenure Resources.” https://www.unccd.int/land-and-life/land-tenure/resources


    Supplemental Reading List


    This brief reading list offers students and instructors interested in delving further into questions of land tenure in southern Africa a jumping off point for starting their inquiry. In addition to pointing out key scholars in the field, I suggest several resources that can help extend the issues and debates alluded to in the chapter, especially to other regions in Africa. Feel free to reach out to the author with additional conversation or resources you have found as you make your own contributions to these discussions.


    Al Jazeera. 2019. “Land expropriation through the eyes of South African farmers.” August 31, 2019. https://www.aljazeera.com/program/in-the-field/2019/8/31/land-expropriation-through-the-eyes-of-south-african-farmers

    A twenty-four-minute documentary featuring the political controversy and difficult questions raised by late 2010s land reform movements in South Africa.


    BBC News. 2020. “Zimbabwe to return land seized from foreign farmers.” September 1, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-53988788

    An update on Zimbabwe’s attempts to manage to fallout of its controversial 2000 reform program.


    Debusmann, Robert, and Stefan Arnold, editors. 1996. Land Law and Land Ownership in Africa: Case Studies from Colonial and Contemporary Cameroon and Tanzania. Bayreuth: Eckhardt Breitinger.

    From a legal and historical perspective, this volume looks at the interactions between land law in colonial and postcolonial settings, with attention given to differences between different European colonial powers.


    Hall, Ruth. 2004. “A political economy of land reform in South Africa.” Review of African Political Economy 31(100):213-227.

    Hall provides a review of early efforts to address racialized land inequalities in South Africa.


    Makhado, Rudzani. 2012. “South Africa’s Land Reform Debate: Progress and Challenges.” SSRN, November 27, 2012. https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2181379

    An insider’s view of the land debate as of 2012, looking especially at legislative attempts to mitigate land inequities.


    Martín Martín, Victor O., Luis M. Jerez Darias, and Carlos S. Martín Fernández. 2019. “Agrarian reforms in Africa 1980–2016: solution or evolution of the agrarian question?” Africa 89(3):586-607.

    The authors to this review article consider the historical changes in land tenure systems in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, looking at how structures of poverty and inequality have continued largely unabated.


    Moyo, Sam, and Walter Chambati, editors. 2013. Land and Agrarian Reform in Zimbabwe: Beyond White-Settler Capitalism, Dakar: Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa.

    Moyo is a central figure in the field of land rights in southern Africa, and this volume, parts of which are cited in the full chapter, is a comprehensive overview of the reform project in Zimbabwe.

    Mukeredzi, Tonderayi. 2019. “Zimbabwe’s New Land Reforms Don’t Go Far Enough.” Foreign Policy, July 31, 2019. https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/07/31/zimbabwes-new-land-reforms-dont-go-far-enough-mugabe-mnangagwa-white-farmers

    Mukeredzi presents a journalist’s opinion on why Zimbabwe’s land reform program did not go far enough to root out the structural causes of ongoing inequality.


    Rusenga, Clemence. 2019. “The Agribusiness Model in South African Land Reform? Land Use Implications for the Land Reform Beneficiaries.” Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy 8(3):440-461.

    This article addresses the impact of global agribusiness models on South African calls for land reform.


    Shipton, Parker. 1994. “Land and Culture in Tropical Africa: Soils, Symbols, and the Metaphysics of the Mundane.” Annual Review of Anthropology 23:347-377.

    Shipton provides a high-level review of the symbolic dimensions of land across Africa, with numerous citations of ethnographers working throughout the twentieth century.


    South African Government. 2022. “Land Reform.” https://www.gov.za/issues/land-reform

    As of 2022, this page offers a collection of resources sponsored by the ANC-led government to outline its proposals for land reform in the coming years, along with around a dozen local case studies of “successful land reform projects” it has already undertaken.


    6 How Should Food be Produced?

    Scott Freeman


    Apologies, no supplementary material just yet.


    7 Who Decides Where They Live?

    Elisha Oliver


    Apologies, no supplementary material just yet.


    8 How Much Land Do We Need

    Ina Goel


    9 Where Should We Park

    Daniel Souleles


    Author introductory video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/f4asvl8t1jem70i/WIN_20220523_15_54_35_Pro.mp4?dl=0


    Classroom Activities


    Observing the City, Lesson Plan


    Where Should We Park


    Daniel Souleles, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Copenhagen Business School


    The Budget Lesson


    For this lesson, you should get the municipal budget for wherever you live and distribute digital copies to students. Start class by explaining how to read a budget, then invite them to read through the budget and, based on their own experience, come up with three places of interest—one place where they agree with an allocation, one place where they disagree with an allocation, and one place where they would like to suggest a change to an allocation. You can look at revenue, you can look at spending—feel free to broaden or narrow the scope as much as you’d like.


    Once students have identified their budget areas, have a general class discussion. Start to see if there are commonalities and differences in what students have selected, and then progress to a more general conversation about how and why money is spent the way it is.


    Observing the City, Lesson Plan


    Where Should We Park


    Daniel Souleles, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Copenhagen Business School


    Brief Description


    This is a lesson designed to get students to imagine the perspective of various people who need to use and who need to manage public street space in a city. The basic idea is that you should pick a street space that students are familiar with and assign students various rolls relating to the space. Then the students should come up with proposals for changing the space, and see if they can collectively negotiate and come to a consensus on how to change or improve the space.




    I think three hours, would be about right for this. You could spend the first hour assigning rolls and having students come up with how they would like to improve the stretch of street from their own perspective. Then you could spend a second hour having specific student groups present to the class what they came up with. Then the third hour could be spent negotiating and moderating a common set of plans for the street.


    Extended Description


    Here are some possible rolls you might assign to students (feel free to create more!):


    • Parents of children who walk or take the bus to school;
    • Businesses who want customers and ease of shipping goods;
    • Residents who want quieter, less crowded, or less polluted streets;
    • Suburban dwellers who want easy access to the city;
    • Disabled people who would like an accessible city;
    • People who want more public transit for ecological and convenience reasons; and
    • Police, fire, and medical first responders who want the city to be accessible for what they do.


    When you select a section of street you should pick a place that students are familiar with and take lots of pictures of it to present to the students.


    You should ask students to come up with proposals for improving the street from the point of view of their assigned roll. Ask them to visually imagine what they’re suggesting, see if they can put together a PowerPoint presentation with drawings of images culled from google searches.


    For the third part of the class, you should moderate the discussion to see if you can find common ground around a solution or intervention in the street that everyone can agree with.


    Observing the City, Lesson Plan


    Where Should We Park


    Daniel Souleles, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Copenhagen Business School


    Brief Description


    This is a lesson designed to get students to imagine the perspective of various people who need to use and who need to manage public street space in a city. The basic idea is that you should pick a street space that students are familiar with and assign students various rolls relating to the space. Then the students should come up with proposals for changing the space, and see if they can collectively negotiate and come to a consensus on how to change or improve the space.




    I think three hours, would be about right for this. You could spend the first hour assigning rolls and having students come up with how they would like to improve the stretch of street from their own perspective. Then you could spend a second hour having specific student groups present to the class what they came up with. Then the third hour could be spent negotiating and moderating a common set of plans for the street.


    Extended Description


    Here are some possible rolls you might assign to students (feel free to create more!):


    • Parents of children who walk or take the bus to school;
    • Businesses who want customers and ease of shipping goods;
    • Residents who want quieter, less crowded, or less polluted streets;
    • Suburban dwellers who want easy access to the city;
    • Disabled people who would like an accessible city;
    • People who want more public transit for ecological and convenience reasons; and
    • Police, fire, and medical first responders who want the city to be accessible for what they do.


    When you select a section of street you should pick a place that students are familiar with and take lots of pictures of it to present to the students.


    You should ask students to come up with proposals for improving the street from the point of view of their assigned roll. Ask them to visually imagine what they’re suggesting, see if they can put together a PowerPoint presentation with drawings of images culled from google searches.


    For the third part of the class, you should moderate the discussion to see if you can find common ground around a solution or intervention in the street that everyone can agree with.


    Reading List


    Where Should We Park


    Daniel Souleles, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Copenhagen Business School


    Reading List


    • Anjaria, John Shapiro. 2016. The Slow Boil: Street Food, Rights, and Public Space in Mumbai. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.


    • This is an anthropological study of street vendors in Mumbai, India. Here Anjaria looks at how street vendors fit into the cities they live and work in. He also looks at how street vendors are a place where people argue about who should get to take up space in a city and why.


    • Bear, Laura. 2015. Navigating Austerity: Currents of Debt along a South Asian River. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.


    • This is an anthropological study of shipping commerce and boat traffic on Hooghly River in India. Bear uses this study to write about what happens to life in India when austerity and government debt politics become the dominant concerns of politicians and bureaucrats.


    • Harvey, David. 2013. Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution. London: Verso.


    • This is a book about how people make up cities, and what value those people bring to cities. It also explores what it means to have a right to a city in the face of capitalist governance and speculation


    • Ho, Karen. 2009. Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.


    • This is an anthropological study of US-based investment bankers. It gives a good account of how abstractly many people in finance see the world that they exercise power over of.


    • Leins, Stefan. 2018. Stories of Capitalism: Inside the Role of Financial Analysts. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press.


    • This book is an anthropological study of Swiss-based financial analysts. It talks about the sorts of stories they make up about their investments in order to persuade people to spend money on them. It’s a good example, again, of what the world starts to look like when finance and debt are the most important things to pay attention to.


    • Lutz, Catherine. 2014. “The U.S. car colossus and the production of inequality.” American Ethnologist 41(2):232-245. doi.org/10.1111/amet.12072.


    • This is an essay on how a reliance on cars exacerbates inequality in the U.S. and makes life hard for many people who do not have enough money to own and maintain cars.


    • Menoret, Pascal. 2020. Graveyard of Clerics: Everyday Activism in Saudi Arabia. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.


    • This is an anthropological study of political action in Saudi Arabia, which pays particular attention to how suburban, car-dependent development limits the ability of people to organize and congregate.


    • Scott Brett. 2013. The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money. Pluto Press.


    • This is a readable, popular account of how the global financial system works.


    • Souleles, Daniel. 2019. Songs of Profit, Songs of Loss: Private Equity, Wealth, and Inequality. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.


    • This is an anthropological study of (mostly) US-based Private Equity investors. It pays particular attention to how financiers justify the fact that they should manage all sorts of businesses that they’ve never worked in, largely because these financiers are passably talented at financial mathematics.


    • Taibbi, Matt. 2010. Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That is Breaking America. New York: Spiegel & Grau.


    • This book is a collection of essays by a journalist, written around the 2007-2008 financial crisis, focusing on it’s effect on the US. This book also contains one account of the Chicago parking debacle that this chapter draws on.



    10 How Should We Deal With Climat Change

    Aneil Tripathy


    Classroom Activity


    Discussion around Financial Times’ Climate Game


    Students should play the Financial Times Climate Game, testing out different advisors and responses to the game’s questions.


    The Gina Green “activist adviser” and David Deals “business adviser” and the inputs they provide serve particularly well at getting at the chapter’s depiction of climate finance and fossil fuel divestment. As advisers, these game characters are also direct depictions of climate change expertise.


    In class, students should discuss what responses the game leaves out and how it could be structured differently.


    Financial Times’ Climate Game cheat sheet.


    Reading List


    Articles on Climate Finance and Green Bonds


    Harrison, Caroline and Partridge, Candace and Tripathy, Aneil. 2020. "What's in a Greenium: An Analysis of Pricing Methodologies and Discourse in the Green Bond Market." The Journal of Environmental Investing 10(1), Available at http://www.thejei.com/journal/., Available at SSRN: (link is external)https://ssrn.com/abstract=.(link is external)


    Tripathy, Aneil, Mok, Lionel and Katie House. 2020. “Defining Climate-Aligned Investment: An Analysis of Standards Development for the Green Bond Market.” Journal of Environmental Investing 10(1).(link is external)


    Mok, Lionel, Tripathy, Aneil and Grégoire Lunven de Chanrond. 2020. “A Multidisciplinary Literature Review of Academic Research on the Green Bond Market.” Journal of Environmental Investing 10(1).(link is external)


    Partridge, Candace and Francesa Medda. 2020. "The evolution of pricing performance of green municipal bonds." Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment 10 (1): 44-65. (link is external)


    Silver, Nick. 2017. Finance, Society and Sustainability: How to make the Financial System Work for the Economy, People and Planet. London: Palgrave Macmillan.(link is external)


    Harrison, Caroline. 2017. "Green Bond Pricing in the Primary Market: Jan/2016 - March/2017." Climate Bonds Initiative and IFC.


    Articles on Fossil Fuel Divestment


    2015. “Final Report and Recommendations on Fossil Fuel Divestment.” Brandeis University’s Exploratory Committee on Fossil Fuel Divestment.” Co-authored with John Ballantine, Eric Olson, Elise J. Willer, Philip A. Wight, Michael Abrams, and Iona Feldman.


    The Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment


    Supplementary Videos


    Chapter videos


    What is Divestment?


    PBS Financial Case for Divesting from Fossil Fuels


    The World’s first Green Bond


    10 Years of Green Bonds


    11 How Should We Make an Impact

    Matthew Archer


    Apologies, no supplementary material just yet.


    12 Why do Some People Want to Manage Human Fertility

    Michelle A. Resnel and Rachel Vaughn


    Author video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXVjsQFMEJI


    Menstrual Tracking App Activities & Suggested Readings
    Vaughn & Rensel

    Activity 1: Analyze a menstrual tracking app of choice (many are available on the App Store, but websites are great resources as well). Some great options are:

    ● MyFlo: https://myflotracker.com

    ● Clue: https://helloclue.com

    Questions to ask as you analyze the app:

    ➔ What images, colors, fonts, designs, messaging, language or other strategies are used to sell consumers on the use of this technology? What do these elements say about the target audience for their product? Who might benefit as well as feel left out when using this app?

    ➔ What health and dietary messages did you notice as you explored the app? What product benefits/ failures, (in)conveniences or successes/ failures do you notice as you explore? How might what you found in your object explorations connect back to what you read in the chapter?

    ➔ How are hormones represented (if at all) in the app and/or on the website? Are they described as dynamic, responsive chemical messengers relaying complex environmental and internal information within the body, or as deterministic regulators of behavior, emotions, etc?

    ➔ Find and analyze the data privacy and confidentiality information for the app - how is your data used and/or protected?

    Activity 2: Community Film Event: Host a community film viewing of a well-researched short film about menstrual technologies, or the history and politics of menstruation, and then discuss as a class! A few that we recommend include:

    ● How Your Period App is Making Other People Rich ( 2019), journalist Leah Green for The Guardian

    ● Rayka Zehtabchi's Period. End of Sentence

    ● The Story of Menstruation (1946), by Walt Disney Productions & Kotex Products

    ● Sex Explained: Birth Control, narrated by Janelle Monáe

    ● Example questions to consider:


    What technologies or scientific information does the film engage?


    What are the goals and intended audience of this film?


    What experts were consulted in the making of this film?


    How did the protagonists involved experience the invention/ use/ abuse/ exposure to the science or technology highlighted in the film?

    What cultural import, power dynamics; political debates or medical histories impacted the biotechnology/ scientific information in question?


    In what ways does the science & technology involved, reflect the subjectivity of the designers, inventors, users? How so?

    Other links you might make across the chapter and the film?

    Activity 3: Create a shareable tool - put students into small groups (about 3-4) and ask them to develop the framework for a menstrual health app/ tool/ resource/ guide/ zine that resists the neoliberal framing of menstruation, fertility, and reproduction as commodifiable, individually optimized, and biologically determined.

    To start, ask students to recall key concerns with existing apps from the chapter (and to add any of their own). Student responses could (but might not necessarily) include:

    ➔ data sharing and privacy concerns (see https://www.businessinsider.com/period-apps-privacy-risks-ad-targeting-2021-1)

    ➔ Lack of inclusive design for transgender, non-binary, intersex users


    ➔ Inaccurate language around hormones and gendered hormonal determinism, “regular” cycles, diet, and health

    ➔ Inaccurate or overly confident cycle prediction algorithms

    ➔ Paywalls and lack of access

    Next, each group should brainstorm the goals of their specific tool. Who is their target audience, and what kind of menstrual/fertility/reproductive information do they want to convey? Is there a better way to address these needs outside of an app?
    Finally, ask each group to sketch out a rough design of their tool. What will they include? How and where will they offer it? How much will it cost (if anything)?

    Further Reading List:

    1. Fox, Sarah and Franchesca Spektor. (2021). “Hormonal Advantage: Retracing Exploitative Histories of Workplace Menstrual Tracking.” Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 7 (1): 1–23.

    2. Louise Healy, R. (2020). Zuckerberg, get out of my uterus! An examination of fertility apps, data sharing and remaking the female body as a digitized reproductive subject. J. Gender Studies 30:4, 406-416, DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2020.1845628

    3. Lutz, S., & Sivakumar, G. (2020). Leaking the secret: Women’s attitudes toward menstruation and menstrual-tracker mobile apps. Gender, Technology and Development, 24(3), 362–377. https://doi.org/10.1080/09718524.2020.1786990

    4. Mamo, L., & Fosket, J. R. (2009). Scripting the Body: Pharmaceuticals and the (Re)Making of Menstruation. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 34(4), 925–949. https://doi.org/10.1086/597191

    5. Fox, S. & Epstein, D. (2020). Monitoring Menses: Design-Based Investigations of Menstrual Tracking Applications. 2020 Jul 25. In: Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan; 2020. Chapter 54. PMID: 33347158. In Bobel C, Winkler IT, Fahs B, Hasson KA, Kissling EA, Roberts TA, editors. The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies [Internet].Palgrave Macmillan.

    6. Johnson, S., Marriott, L. & Zinaman, M. (2018). Can apps and calendar methods predict ovulation with accuracy? Current Medical Research and
    Opinion, 34:9, 1587-1594, DOI: 10.1080/03007995.2018.1475348


    13 How Should Childbirth Happen?

    Amanda Shapiro


    Classroom activities


    LAWsterity: Analyze the Austerity/Neoliberal and Human Rights Values in Legal Cases about Pregnancy Benefits and Child Benefits

    Lesson Plan


    How Should Childbirth Happen?


    Amanda Shapiro, J.D., LLM

    PhD Student

    University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law


    Brief Description


    Students will compare the values (neoliberal and human rights) present in two legal cases involving pregnancy benefits and child benefits. One case from the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom rejects women’s claims that the revocation of child benefits threatens their human rights. Another case from the European Court of Human Rights vindicates women’s claims that denying health insurance coverage during pregnancy was a violation of the human right to be free from discrimination.




    1 hour, including the time students need to read the case summaries[1] and relevant articles from the European Convention on Human Rights.


    Extended Description


    This lesson can be structured as either a combined take-home and in-class assignment or purely as an in-class assignment, depending on class time available. For the combined take-home/in-class assignment, before the class, students should read two press releases that summarize different findings about discrimination in pregnancy/child benefits under the European Convention on Human Rights, and the relevant articles of the Convention itself (Articles 8, 12, and 14; and First Protocol Article 1). Then, in class, students would compare and contrast what they read. For the purely in-class lesson, students would do the readings during class.


    Introduce students to the material: Both cases involve the European Convention on Human Rights. In one, the highest court of the United Kingdom is ruling on the case. In the other, the highest domestic court of Croatia has already ruled against the applicant here, and she has appealed her case to the European Court of Human Rights. The teacher can note that applicants who lose their cases in domestic courts can then bring their case before the human rights Court (which the Croatian applicant did here).

    • R (on the application of SC, CB and 8 children) (Appellants) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and others (Respondents) (Supreme Court of the United Kingdom 2021):  This case is about the “two-child limit” that prevents a family already on child benefits for two children from receiving benefits for a third child or more children. Students should be familiar with this policy from the discussion about the UK in the Childbirth chapter.
    • Articles of the Convention: Article 8 (Right to respect for private and family life); Article 12 (Right to marry); Article 14 (Prohibition of discrimination); and First Protocol, Article 1 (Protection of property)
    • Ruling:  While the Court found that the government’s “two-child limit” did have a discriminatory effect on both women and children from larger families, it found that such differential treatment was justifiable for the government’s asserted fiscal reasons.
    • Jurčić v. Croatia (European Court of Human Rights 2021):  This is a case about a woman in Croatia undergoing IVF treatment[2] who was denied employment-based health insurance because of her pregnancy.
    • Articles of the Convention: Article 14 (Prohibition of discrimination); and First Protocol, Article 1 (Protection of property)
    • Ruling:  The Court found that the applicant had been directly discriminated against because of her pregnancy, in violation of both Article 14 and Article 1 of the First Protocol of the Convention. The Court was especially troubled by the gender stereotyping that the government appeared to use to justify denying the applicant employment health insurance (i.e., the idea that pregnant women or women undergoing pregnancy treatment, are unfit to work).

    Split students into groups for the “value” analysis portion: Each of these decisions contains both neoliberal and human rights values and it will be the groups’ jobs to decide where and how the opinions exhibit such values. In a small class, students can be split in half; in a larger class, students can be split into several groups, but each group will be scrutinizing only one of the cases. Students can organize their ideas somewhat like the chart below, and then each group can share their findings for the rest of the class. (I have filled the below chart with some ideas for what students might find.)



    R v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (UK)

    Jurčić v. Croatia (ECtHR)

    Benefit at issue

    Child tax credit or “two-child limit”, a non-contributory benefit to provide financial support to children with families

    Employment-based health insurance while pregnant or seeking pregnancy treatment, like IVF

    Human Rights Values (from Government, Applicant, and/or Court)

    “The parties agree that, although the relevant provisions of the 2002 Act are couched in neutral language, the two child limit affects more women than men. This gives rise to a presumption of discrimination on the ground of sex, contrary to article 14 of the Convention, read with article 8 and with A1P1” (p. 2) à The Court credits both the Government’s and the Applicants’ findings that the two-child policy will dramatically affect more women than men, due to their gendered caregiving, and that this by itself implicates human rights norms.

    “[G]ender stereotyping by the authorities as observed in the applicant’s case presented a serious obstacle to the achievement of real substantive gender equality” (p. 2) à The Court recognizes that one of the aims of the human right to be free from discrimination is to free persons from the limitations of gender stereotyping, which have hampered women’s progress for centuries.

    Neoliberal/ Austerity Values (from Government, Applicant, and/or Court)

    The measure pursues a legitimate aim: to protect the economic wellbeing of the country by achieving savings in public expenditure and thus contributing to reducing the fiscal deficit.” (p. 3) à This is a classic neoliberal justification—that the Court decides to credit without questioning some of the more pernicious motives behind the two-child limit—justifying a reduced welfare state by cost savings, the deficit, and a persistent myth of the scarcity of state resources.


    “The fixing of the limit on the basis of the sum payable for two children reflects the fact that the average UK family contains 1.7 dependent children.” (p. 1) à This echoes Wendy Brown’s findings that austerity and neoliberal policies prefer “traditional” family structures, here, two parents and two children. Consider also how ridiculous it is to base policy off of an “average” of 1 child plus 7/10ths of a child, which the government so generously rounds up to two children. (Note: personally, I think this is a sneakier version of neoliberalism creeping in so props to students who highlight this!)

    They denied her employment insurancealtogether, considering that her employment was fictitious and aimed solely at securing payment during pregnancy. They also held that she had been medically unfit to take up work in a distant town owing to the IVF process.” (p. 1) à This is another classic neoliberal idea, that women’s pregnant bodies are unfit for work because they should be at home doing the care work of breeding and raising children.


    “The Government argued that the applicant had been treated in the same way as any woman who

    sought to profit from fictitious employment contracts. The decision had been taken to protect the

    public purse.” (p. 2) à There are actually two neoliberal/austerity values lurking here: (1) that women’s work while pregnant or trying to get pregnant is “fictitious” or “fraudulent” (echoing the sentiment above); and (2) that denying coverage to pregnant women protects limited state resources.

    Analogous treatment of other issues: how do these arguments remind you of other policy issues?

    [Students should brainstorm policy arguments that they find analogous. They can draw on other chapters of the casebook as well.]




    List of Supporting Materials


    The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. 2021. Press Summary: R (on the application of SC, CB and 8 children) (Appellants) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and others (Respondents). https://www.supremecourt.uk/press-summary/uksc-2019-0135.html.


    Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights. 2021. Press Release: Pregnant Woman Discriminated Against by Insurance Authorities. https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/app/conversion/pdf/?library=ECHR&id=003-6927609-9310232&filename=Judgment%20Jurcic%20v.%20Croatia%20-%20Pregnant%20woman%20unfairly%20treated.pdf.


    Council of Europe. European Convention on Human Rights. https://www.echr.coe.int/documents/convention_eng.pdf.


    [1] This lesson plans has official case summaries from each court, rather than the full opinions from the cases, because the cases are simply too long and unwieldy, especially for students who are unfamiliar with legal jargon and process.

    [2] Note: It might not be a bad idea to explain to students what IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment is. The treatment is usually recommended for women who have been trying to get pregnant through sexual intercourse without success. In IVF treatment, “an egg is removed from the woman's ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory. The fertilised egg, called an embryo, is then returned to the woman's womb to grow and develop.” NHS. 2021. Overview: IVF. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ivf/#:~:text=In%20vitro%20fertilisation%20(IVF)%20is,womb%20to%20grow%20and%20develop.


    Rebirth: Interview Someone Who Has Given Birth

    Lesson Plan



    How Should Childbirth Happen?


    Amanda Shapiro, J.D., LLM

    PhD Student

    University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law


    Brief Description


    Students will interview someone who has given birth, and take an inventory of the birthing person’s experience. The person’s experience will be compared to the experiences of birthing people in the United Kingdom and Sweden, and students will analyze the interviews for themes found in the chapter.




    Classroom Time 1: 15 minutes, to discuss potential interviewees and interview questions


    Assignment/Outside of Classroom Time: 1 hour for the interview itself, and 30 minutes for analyzing interviews for chapter themes


    Classroom Time 2: 30 minutes, to discuss themes from students’ interviews


    Extended Description


    Classroom Activity 1 (15 minutes):

    • Introduce the activity and the goals of the interview (5 minutes): to understand the values of both the birthing person, and those of the policies that the birthing person experienced (I.e., neoliberal/austerity values, human rights values, equality values, or a mix all of them).
    • Give a few examples of whom students could contact to interview about their birth experience, and make sure to note that students should indicate that the person has no obligation to be interviewed, their identity will be kept anonymous, and they can stop the interview at any point. Note! For ethical reasons, note that students should only interview adults for this assignment.
    • Examples of possible interviewees:
      • Their own mother
      • An aunt/sister
      • A friend
      • Another student who gave birth
      • Another professor who gave birth
      • A women’s advocacy group, doulas, or other birth justice organizations, who could pass along the offer of the interview
    • Note the general categories of questions that students should cover in their interview
      1. Pregnancy
      2. The Birth Itself
      3. Maternity/Birth Leave
      4. Parental Leave
      5. Childcare
    • Separate students into five groups (to correspond to each birth category) (10 minutes): and ask them to brainstorm questions based on the chapter material that would get at what types of policies and values the birthing person experienced
      • Each group should then share their interview questions (either by writing them on a whiteboard or on a virtual chalkboard), and get feedback from the other groups.


    Assignment Activity (1 hour and 30 minutes):


    • The Interview (1 hour): Make sure the questions students have generated will get at the themes from the birth chapter. A few sample questions for each phase in childbirth are listed below.
    1. Pregnancy

    Q: Could you tell me about your experience with your pregnancy? If you were working at any time while you were pregnant, could you tell me about what it was like to work while pregnant?


    1. The Birth Itself

    Q: Could you tell me about where you gave birth and who was with you when you did? Did you have options over where to give birth? If you did, why did you choose the place you did?


    1. Maternity/Birth Leave

    Q: If you were working before you gave birth, did you get any paid or unpaid time off while and after you gave birth? How did you feel about the amount of leave you got?


    1. Parental Leave

    Q: If you were working before you gave birth, did you get any paid or unpaid time off after you gave birth? How did you feel about the amount of leave you got?


    Q: Did you have a partner when you gave birth? If you did, did your partner get any paid or unpaid time off? How did you feel about the amount of leave your partner got?


    1. Childcare

    Q: Did you enroll your new baby in any childcare programs? How much, if anything, did you have to pay for that program?


    Q: Did friends or family help you with childcare responsibilities? How did you feel about the level of help you got?

    • Interview Analysis (30 minutes): Students should do some very basic coding of their interviews to see how the interviewee’s answers lined up with a birthing person’s experience in either the United Kingdom, Sweden or both. Some things the student can look for: the level of government support throughout the birth process; the level of family support throughout the birth process; the level of involvement of a partner in the process; and the medical treatment of and place of birth.


    Classroom Activity 2 (30 minutes): Students should loosely categorize the answers from their interviewees into themes from the chapter. Consider using a scale from “most government involvement” to “least government involvement” or to have students discuss interviewees’ positive experiences with childbirth and then discuss the common themes from those experiences (or the same with negative experiences). Students can do this in groups (with a pre-made chart, for example, or any presentation format they choose) and then share their findings.


    List of Supporting Materials


    Consider having students read a chapter on conducting qualitative interviews, especially informal or semi-structured interviews, such as the Interviews chapter from:


    Tyner-Mullings, Alia R., Gatta, Mary & Coughlan, Ryan. 2019. Ethnography Made Easy. New York, NY: CUNY. https://cuny.manifoldapp.org/projects/ethnographies-of-work.


    Further, depending on how the class will use the interviews afterwards, teachers should consider having students give all interview subjects an informed consent form to understand and sign so that participants know their rights and how their interviews will be used. The University of Michigan has a good overview of the principles involved and how to write a good informed consent template:


    Research Ethics & Compliance University of Michigan. 2022. Informed Consent Guidelines and Templates. https://research-compliance.umich.edu/informed-consent-guidelines.


    A draft informed consent template is also attached to this lesson plan.


    Supplementary Reading List


    How Should Childbirth Happen?


    Amanda Shapiro, J.D., LLM

    PhD Student

    University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law


    Reading List


    This list includes a diverse array of academics and non-academics alike in order to give an overview of both the intersection of human rights and women’s rights, and an understanding of how neoliberalism and austerity policies affect and reinforce gender inequality and pregnancy and childbirth. Political scientists give an understanding of neoliberalism’s reliance on gender inequality and the “traditional” family to support market-based goals. Social scientists give firsthand accounts of how these policies affect pregnant women, doctors, and midwives. Newspaper and NGO investigative reports add to these firsthand experiences with a wider overview of their systemic impact on women and children. Finally, legal scholars shed light on the specific laws that create these impacts, and the human rights implicated by such harms.


    • Brown, Wendy. 2015. Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution. Brooklyn, NY: Zone Books.

    Wendy Brown is a political scientist, who studies how the ubiquity of neoliberal policies across Western societies have impacted democracy. In this book, Brown dives deep into how Margaret Thatcher’s austerity policies dramatically impacted both livelihoods and democracy in the United Kingdom. Chapter Three in particular discusses austerity policies’ unequal gender and sex effects and the expectations of women’s free childbearing and childrearing labor.

    • Brown, Wendy. 2019. In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West. In the Ruins of Neoliberalism. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

    As a complement to Brown’s first book on neoliberalism, this more recent book delves more into how neoliberal policies rely on “traditional” family structures and widespread inequality in order to achieve a market-based government order. The Introduction has a good discussion of neoliberalism’s reliance on inequality.

    • Collins, Caitlyn. 2019. Making Motherhood Work. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    Caitlyn Collins is a sociologist who studies gender inequality in the workplace and family life from a cross-country perspective. In this book, Collins draws from over a hundred interviews with women from Sweden, Germany, Italy, and the United States on how each country’s respective policies and cultures impacted their daily lives as working mothers.

    • Cook, Rebecca J. & Cusack, Simone. 2010. Gender Stereotyping: Transnational Legal Perspectives (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press).

    Rebecca J. Cook and Simone Cusack are legal scholars who study gender equality from an international human rights perspective. Their book is an excellent overview of international treaties on gender equality (like CEDAW) and how different countries have implemented gender equality provisions as well. The theme of the book is that gender stereotypes operate as some of the most pernicious forces preventing women’s equality, including beliefs that women are the natural and primary caregivers, for instance.

    • Cooper, Melinda. 2017. Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism, 7–24. Brooklyn, NY: Zone Books.

    Melinda Cooper is a social scientist, and in this book, she examines how the traditional patriarchal family structure animates current neoliberal and neoconservative movements—the family of four with a working father and a stay-at-home mother. She also examines how this devotion to the traditional family structure and an extreme focus on the family colored neoliberals’ approach to health care, work, and education.

    I was stunned to read this New York Times investigation of how Britain’s commitment to austerity has altered most British citizens’ lives for the worse. In some excellent data analysis and policy unpacking, the article traces the UK’s commitment to austerity and its harmful impact on UK citizens.

    • Jordan, Brigitte. 1983. Birth in Four Cultures. Eden Press: Montreal and London.

    Brigitte Jordan is an anthropologist, and this book she studies four countries’ treatment of childbirth through their culture and policies: the Yucatan, the United States, Sweden, and Holland. Using participant observation, she spends considerable time with a Mayan midwife and Swedish midwives while they are delivering babies. The result is an unparalleled examination of the treatment of birth in these four societies, as well as a good overview of each country’s legal policies around pregnancy and birth.

    As an extension of Goodman’s investigation, above, Benjamin Mueller explains in lay terms what austerity policies are in Britain (e.g., budget cutting) and what that has meant for British society at large. The article discusses austerity’s effects on young children in particular.

    In one of the most damning reports on the UK’s austerity policies to date, former UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston doesn’t mince words about what he saw when he visited the UK: that austerity had “inflict[ed] unnecessary misery” on its poorest citizens “in one of the richest countries in the world” no less. The report is especially significant because, while the focus of this UN body is often on developing countries that have fewer means to eradicate poverty, the Special Rapporteur here is reporting that the UK’s slide into poverty is definitively political choice.

    • Prochaska, Elizabeth. 2020. Human rights law and challenging dehumanisation in childbirth. In Childbirth, Vulnerability and Law: Exploring Issues of Violence and Control, 132-139. Pickles, Camilla & Herring, Jonathan. 2020. New York, NY: Routledge.

    Elizabeth Prochaska is a human rights lawyer in Britain, who focuses on the rights of pregnant and birthing people. In this book chapter, she begins with an alarming anecdote about negligent treatment of a woman during childbirth in the UK, and structures the chapter around how the experience can be seen as a violation of women’s fundamental human rights to dignity in their experience of pregnancy and childbirth.



    14 Who is Responsible for Children's Food?

    Jennifer Patico


    Classroom Exercise


    FOOD FIGHTS: Interrogating the Politics of School Lunch Through Memories

    Expected duration: 1 hour (could be longer for a large group)


    In this discussion activity, students will be invited to explore their own memories of school lunch and to compare their stories, with the goal of gaining new insights into the ways these lunch experiences were shaped by their own class situatedness, by school policies and/or parental choices, and by neoliberal political economy.


    First 10 minutes: students journal individually. Give these instructions via handout or digital screen:

    “Think back to your own school lunches in elementary school. Did you get lunch at school? If so, was it free or did your family pay for it? Or did you bring a lunch from home most days?

    What do you remember about the food you ate at lunchtime? Was it highly routine or more variable? Did you like it? Why or why not? What sensory images come to mind?

    How much choice did you have about what your school lunch would be? Do you remember any conflicts or negotiations with parents, teachers, or other adults about school lunch?

    Do you remember your food being similar or dissimilar to what other kids around you were eating at school? Was this a topic of conversation?”


    Next 5 minutes: students get a new prompt:

    “Can you think of any social factors that might have accounted for the differences or negotiations you remember? What might your memories indicate, for example, about economic or ethnic diversity (or lack thereof) in your school community?”


    Next 15 minutes: students form into small groups of 3:

    “Share any details from your memory journaling that you are comfortable sharing with your group members. What similarities or differences emerge when your stories are compared? Can you point to the possible influence of factors such as class diversity, regional differences, migration, or anything else that helps you understand these patterns? How do these comparisons help each of you to continue to contextualize your individual experience? Assign a scribe/spokesperson who will present your overarching findings to the class.”


    Final 30 minutes: come back to large group discussion. Each group presents a brief summary of what they discussed. Keep track of main points made by each group, using a white board or digital screen that all can view. In large group, then discuss:

    “What is our collective analysis of school food experiences? What common patterns and/or diversity do we see across these stories?

    Drawing from the groups’ explorations, do you see any evidence or arguments for or against universal school lunch as discussed by Patico?

    How do your stories support, contradict, or add to Patico’s discussion of how neoliberal assumptions underlie the politics of children’s food in the U.S.?”


    Optional: if you also assigned your class to read Allison’s article on obento boxes in Japan:

    “Drawing from all of the examples, do you think school lunches in your community growing up served as an ‘ideological state apparatus’? How so, or not?”


    Use student comments to build an overarching analysis of school food memories in this student community, pointing out to them how they have illuminated the workings of structural inequality, moralizing or xenophobic discourses about food, etc. Represent these arguments graphically on the white board or whatever screen you may be using.


    Reading List


    Reading List

    Who Is Responsible for Children’s Food?

    Jennifer Patico


    The reading list below provides opportunities to explore the issues raised in Patico’s piece from a number of angles. Largely drawing on ethnographic perspectives, these works treat issues of food activism and structural inequality; school lunch politics and disciplinary mechanisms; and discourses about “proper” nutrition in various cultural environments, including attention to the ways in which nutritional discourses may be unintentionally exclusionary.




    Allen, Patricia and Julie Guthman. “From ‘old school’ to ‘farm-to-school’: Neoliberalization from the ground up.” Agriculture and Human Values 23: 401-415, 2006.


    Argues that farm-to-school programs tend to reinforce neoliberal norms and inequities, despite their attempts to address food gaps left by neoliberal policies.


    Allison, Anne. “Japanese Mothers and Obentōs: The Lunch-Box as Ideological State Apparatus.”

    Anthropological Quarterly 64(4): 195-208, 1991.


    This excellent ethnographic article uses Althusser’s notion of the “ideological state apparatus” to understand how packed school lunches work as mechanisms of discipline and socialization of Japanese school children and mothers alike.


    Guthman, Julie. “Can’t Stomach It: How Michael Pollan Made Me Want to Eat Cheetos.” Gastronomica 7(2): 75–79, 2007.


    A critique of food writers’ tendency to blame obesity on the moral choices made by individual consumers rather than identifying structural causes.


    Hayes-Conroy, Jessica. “School Gardens and 'Actually Existing' Neoliberalism.” Humboldt Journal of Social Relations 2010 33(1/2): 64-96, 2010.


    Drawing from ethnography of school gardens in California and Nova Scotia, argues that previous critiques of the neoliberal food politics fail to acknowledge the hybrid and partial nature of neoliberalism’s influence on local food projects.


    Jung, Yuson. “Food Provisioning and Foodways in Postsocialist Societies: Food as Medium for Social Trust and Global Belonging.” In Handbook of Food and Anthro­pology, edited by Jakob Klein and James Watson, 289–307. New York: Bloomsbury, 2016.


    Provides insight into how postsocialist citizens evaluate state responsibility for safety and quality, in contrast to consumer-driven arguments for ethical consumption in the U.S. and elsewhere.


    Karrebaek, Martha Sif. “What’s in Your Lunch Box Today?”: Health, Respectability, and Ethnicity in the Primary Classroom.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 22(1): 1-22, 2012. "What's in Your Lunch Box Today?": Health, Respectability, and Ethnicity in the Primary Classroom on JSTOR


    This ethnography of discourse around items packed in school lunches in Denmark shows how talk about “proper food” can be exclusionary.


    Osowski, Christine Persson, Helen Göranzon & Christina Fjellström, “Perceptions and Memories of the Free School Meal in Sweden.” Food, Culture & Society 13(4): 555-572, 2010.


    This article provides another Scandinavian view on state responsibility for school lunch and perceptions of food quality.


    Patico, Jennifer. The Trouble with Snack Time: Children’s Food and the Politics of Parenting. New York: NYU Press, 2020.


    The author’s full-length ethnography of parenting, children’s food, class, and selfhood in an Atlanta charter school community.


    Patico, Jennifer. The Real World in a Honey Bun. Gastronomica 13(3): 42-46, 2103. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/gfc.2013.13.3.42


    A short piece from the same research, which explains how dissent and concern over mundane items like packaged honey buns in the school vending machine speak to broader community concerns about child socialization.


    Pike, J. 2008. “Foucault, space and primary school dining rooms.” Children’s Geographies 6(4): 413-422.


    This ethnographic analysis applies Foucauldian theory to understand spatial and disciplinary aspects of school lunch rooms.


    Poppendieck, Janet. Free for All: Fixing School Food in America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010.


    In-depth sociological study about the logistical challenges and social stigmas attached to school lunch programs in the United States; makes a case for universal free school lunch.


    Reese, Ashante. Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019.


    An award-winning, readable ethnography of the geographies of food, shopping, and race in Washington, D.C., with emphasis on the agency of consumers who must negotiate conditions in their under-served communities.


    15 How Should We Care for the Elderly?

    Amy Clotworthy


    Classroom Activity


    People Before Markets: An Alternative Case Book


    Lesson/Activity Plan

    Chapter 15: How Should We Care for the Elderly? Ask Them What Matters to Them!


    Brief explanation of the lesson/activity plan

    Neoliberal policies are typically based on a model of standardisation and efficiency, which can present a barrier to effectively involving and empowering older people in their own care. As a result, older people often experience that policy makers and health professionals do not adequately acknowledge their needs, preferences, and values – i.e., what matters most to them. Furthermore, healthcare systems in many high-income Western countries tend to benefit people who are already resourceful, interested in obtaining knowledge for themselves, and thereby motivated to be more involved in their own treatment and care. This can lead to health inequalities, so it is essential to acknowledge older people’s intrinsic motivation and to find more appropriate ways to support their individual needs and priorities.

    As suggested in the chapter, enhancing older people’s participation in goal-setting and making decisions for themselves is an important, yet often missing, aspect of care. To counteract this tendency, it is important to ask older people what matters to them – and then LISTEN to the answer! In this learning activity, students will conduct semi-structured qualitative interviews to inquire about older people’s lived experiences of health and ageing. By focusing on the answers, students should try to identify older people’s unmet needs and use this knowledge to develop new policies, products, businesses, etc. that are more inclusive and meaningful to people throughout the life course.

    Through the activity, students should also be able to gain insight into older people’s experiences of and perceived barriers to participation in certain initiatives or programs that are targeted at ‘the elderly’. By conducting interviews that explore the relation between ageing and health/care, students should be able to identify some of the ways in which people comply with, circumvent, or resist notions of ‘healthy’ aging in everyday life. The ultimate goal of this learning activity is to identify gaps in the current policies/programs or products/businesses that target ageing adults, and to discover alternative ways to build stronger, more inclusive societal infrastructures, institutions, and communities of care.


    Expected duration of the lesson/activity

    This lesson/activity plan is flexible and can be adapted to the specific learning context (country/community/course). Thus, the following time limits should be considered only as a guideline. Ideally, these activities would take place over 4 days but they could be compressed into 2 days.

    1. Session 1 – Interviews (30-60 minutes outside of classroom)
    2. Session 2 – Facilitated discussion (1 hour in classroom)
    3. Session 3 – Group work (2 hours in- or outside classroom)
    4. Session 4 – Presentations with Q&A (2 hours in classroom)


    Detailed instructions for what people should do

    1. Each student will conduct semi-structured interviews (Bernard 2002; Kvale & Brinkmann 2015; Spradley 1979) with 1 or 2 older people to inquire about what matters to them from their experiential, emic perspective (Parfitt 1996: 341). The Individually Focused Interview emphasises the production of notes rather than the transcription of audio recordings (Clausen 2012). Ideally, the interviews should be conducted with older people NOT related to the student (i.e., not their own grandmother) in order to reduce bias and increase objectivity. Each interview should take approximately 30 minutes. A suggested interview guide with questions is included in the teaching materials.


    1. Returning to the classroom, the instructor should facilitate a discussion with the students in plenum – what themes emerged in the interviews, what issues seemed to be most meaningful to certain older people, what barriers/challenges do older people experience in their everyday lives? The focus of this discussion should be on identifying strong similarities and differences in the collective interview material. Then, based on the interview themes and the students’ individual interests, the instructor should divide the students into small groups (approx. 4-5 students/group) to develop policy recommendations, a new product, or a business venture.


    1. Using the knowledge gained from the interviews, each group will develop policy recommendations, a new product, or a business venture. Rather than attempting to find an objective, ‘one size fits all’ solution to the challenges presented by an ageing population, the students should use concrete examples (quotations) from the interviews to suggest how policy makers/economists, health professionals, inventors/entrepreneurs, etc., can adopt a more ‘open-system’ approach that is based on associative thinking and complexity. Here, the goal should be to not focus on achieving a particular pre-defined outcome that addresses the ‘problem’ of ageing in their country/local community – rather, students should come up with alternative solutions that support open, inclusive communities of care and cultures of ageing. The students should also be encouraged to adopt a long-term perspective and consider the benefits/disadvantages/unintended consequences of their proposed solutions over time.


    1. In 10–15 minute presentations, each group will present their “People Before Markets” alternative solution for how to care for the elderly in their country/local community with an emphasis on the benefits/disadvantages/unintended consequences of their proposed solutions over time. Each student should actively contribute to and participate in both the group-work and the presentation of the group’s policy recommendation, product, or business venture.

    Meanwhile, the students in the audience (i.e., the non-presenting groups) should be encouraged to ask the presenters questions. The instructor could kick this off by asking the non-presenters if they can think of any other benefits/disadvantages/unintended consequences of the presenting group’s proposed solution. The non-presenters could also ask for clarification on specific aspects of the presentation, or challenge the design/premise of the solution. The instructor could also ask the non-presenters to take a minute or two after each presentation to brainstorm specific questions for that group about the feasibility, efficacy, equity, etc., of the proposed solution. The Q&A after each presentation should take about 5-10 minutes in total.

    List of supporting materials

    Interview guide with informed-consent statement and suggested questions


    References/further reading

    Bernard, H. Russell. Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.

    Clausen, Aksel Skovgaard. “The Individually Focused Interview: Methodological Quality without Transcription of Audio Recordings.” Qualitative Report 17, no. 37 (2012): 1–17. http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR17/clausen.pdf

    Kvale, Steinar and Svend Brinkmann. Interviews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research interviewing. Sage, 2015.

    Parfitt, Barbara A. “Using Spradley: an ethnosemantic approach to research.” Journal of Advanced Nursing 24, no. 2 (1996): 341-349.

    Spradley, James P. The Ethnographic Interview. Long Grove, Illinois: Waveland Press, 2016.


    Supplementary Reading List


    Chapter 15: How Should We Care for the Elderly? – Amy Clotworthy

    suggestions for further reading


    Putting economic markets and organisational ambitions before older people’s needs and self-identified goals can be problematic, as it tends to erode trust in both health/welfare institutions and service providers. More significantly, this skewed prioritisation may supress the ageing adult’s intrinsic motivation and deplete their physical, mental, and social resources. Thus, government officials and health professionals should focus less on trying to improve older people’s functional ability in order to train these individuals to be not dependent on health and welfare services.

    As I suggest in this chapter, most neoliberal Western countries would likely benefit from putting more effort into building stronger, more inclusive infrastructures and communities of care that support cultures of ageing. Government officials and health professionals should also reinforce discourses that emphasise the social value of older people as essential, productive, and still-contributing members of society. But how can we—as students, researchers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, and practitioners (who are all ageing citizens as well)—begin to accomplish this? I think some of the following texts would be a good place to gain inspiration, discover some practical tools/suggestions, and begin to develop viable solutions.



    • Adloff, Frank, and Alain Caillé. Convivial Futures: Views from a Post-Growth Tomorrow. Bielefeld, Germany: transcript Verlag, 2022.
      • https://www.transcript-publishing.com/978-3-8376-5664-0/convivial-futures/
      • The contributors to this volume show what people would gain from a shift to a post-neoliberal and post-growth ‘convivialist future’ by presenting accounts of a future world that is attractive for as many as possible.
    • Aubrecht, Katie, Christine Kelly, and Carla Rice, eds. The Aging–Disability Nexus. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2020.
      • https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/A/bo70117160.html
      • This book’s contributors explore the tensions that shape how disability and aging are understood, experienced, and responded to at both individual and systemic levels, while avoiding the common tendency to conflate these overlapping elements and map them onto a normative, faulty notion of the human life.
    • Basting, Anne. Creative Care: A Revolutionary Approach to Dementia and Elder Care. New York: HarperOne, 2020.
      • https://www.anne-basting.com/creative-care-1
      • The author lays the groundwork for a widespread transformation in our approach to elder care and uses compelling, touching stories to inspire and guide us all—family, friends, and health professionals—in how to connect and interact with those living with dementia.
    • Clack, Beverley, and Michele Paule. Interrogating the Neoliberal Lifecycle. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.
      • https://www.amazon.com/Interrogating-Neoliberal-Lifecycle-Limits-Success-dp-3030007693/dp/3030007693/ref=mt_other?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=
      • This volume interrogates the term ‘neoliberalism’ by engaging with the interface between the political ubiquity of neoliberal forms and its lived experience in neoliberal societies, cutting across a multiplicity of factors including gender, age, and access to education. The book presents an informed discussion of not only the limits of the neoliberal paradigm but also possible alternatives.
    • Gilleard, Chris, and Paul Higgs. Cultures of Ageing: Self, Citizen and the Body. London and New York: Routledge, 2014.
      • https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9781315839530/cultures-ageing-chris-gilleard-paul-higgs
      • With a focus on the dramatic changes to the nature of post-retirement life experienced by people at the end of the 20th century, the authors examine social, cultural and political changes in Europe and North America, and provide a platform for a new social gerontology that sees ageing as central to our understanding of social change.
    • Hansen, Lise Lotte, and Hanne Marlene Dahl, eds. A Care Crisis in the Nordic Welfare States?: Care Work, Gender Equality and Welfare State Sustainability. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2021.
      • https://policy.bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/a-care-crisis-in-the-nordic-welfare-states
      • Contributors to this volume consider the impact of neoliberal policies and ideology on the status of care work in Nordic countries. Arguing that there is a care crisis even in the supposedly feminist Nordic ‘nirvana’, this book explores understandings of the care crisis, the serious consequences for gender equality, and the effects on the long-term sustainability of the Nordic welfare states.
    • Higgs, Paul, and Chris Gilleard. Rethinking Old Age: Theorising the Fourth Age. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017.
      • https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/rethinking-old-age-9781137383983/
      • Inspired by the authors’ ground-breaking work on the third and fourth age, and supported by extensive sociological, medical, and historical research, this book offers a unique analysis of the fourth age as a ‘social imaginary’ that is shaped and maintained by the social, cultural, and political discourses and practices that divide later life.
    • Kaplan, Matthew, Leng Leng Thang, Mariano Sánchez, and Jaco Hoffman. Intergenerational Contact Zones: Place-based Strategies for Promoting Social Inclusion and Belonging. New York: Routledge, 2020.
      • https://www.routledge.com/Intergenerational-Contact-Zones-Place-based-Strategies-for-Promoting-Social/Kaplan-Thang-Sanchez-Hoffman/p/book/9780367189037#
      • The ICZ concept embraces generation and regeneration of community life, parks, and recreational locations, educational environments, residential settings and family life, and national and international contexts for social development. With its focus on creating effective and meaningful intergenerational settings, this text offers a rich ‘how-to’ toolkit to help professionals and user groups as they begin to consider ways to develop, activate, and nurture intergenerational spaces.
    • Laceulle, Hanne. Aging and Self-realization: Cultural Narratives about Later Life. Bielefeld, Germany: transcript Verlag, 2018.
      • https://www.transcript-publishing.com/978-3-8376-4422-7/aging-and-self-realization/?c=410000059
      • In this cultural-philosophical critique, the author presents narratives that acknowledge both the potentials and vulnerabilities of later life. These narratives aim to support older individuals in their search for a meaningful age identity, while they make society recognise its senior members as valued participants and moral agents of their own lives.
    • Rostgaard, Tine, John Parsons, and Hanne Tuntland, eds. Reablement in Long-Term Care for Older People: International Perspectives and Future Directions. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, 2022.
      • https://policy.bristoluniversitypress.co.uk/reablement-in-long-term-care-for-older-people
      • Incorporating theoretical and empirical research on reablement programmes, the contributors to this interdisciplinary volume consider the benefits for clients and care workers, cost-saving potentials, and reablement for people with dementia. The contributors reflect on key findings, challenges, and the way forward for the long-term care of older people.
    • Tronto, Joan. Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care. London and New York: Routledge, 1993.
      • https://www.routledge.com/Moral-Boundaries-A-Political-Argument-for-an-Ethic-of-Care/Tronto/p/book/9780415906425#
      • In this ground-breaking (and now classic) text, the author presents care as one of the central activities of human life and illustrates the ways in which society degrades the importance of caring in order to maintain the power of those who are privileged. In particular, she contests the association of care with women as empirically and historically inaccurate, as well as politically unwise.


    People Before Markets: An Alternative Case Book

    Chapter 15: How Should We Care for the Elderly? Ask Them What Matters to Them!

    Lesson / Activity Plan – Informed Consent & Interview Guide



    Before each interview, the student should briefly introduce the purpose of the interview, and ask for the person’s informed consent to participate. The following text should be read aloud.


    Introduction to the interview

    Thank you for agreeing to participate in this interview. The interview should take about 20–30 minutes and will be semi-structured – that means that I have some specific questions to ask, but I might also ask about other things that come up during our conversation. You can always decline to answer any question, and you are very welcome to ask about the reason for a specific question or anything else you want to know.

    I want to stress that this conversation is confidential, and that everyone I interview will be anonymised with regards to their name and any information that could identify a specific person.

    The main purpose of this interview is for me to learn about people’s experiences of health and ageing in connection with [TITLE OF COURSE]. This means that I may use anonymous quotes from our conversation in classroom activities, such as presentations and examinations. If you decide at any point that you do not want to be part of this educational activity, you can contact me and I will delete your interview materials.

    Do you have any questions for me before we get started?

    May I have your consent to participate in the interview? (Answer yes / no.) Thank you.




    Preliminary questions (demographic data)

    I’m really interested in learning more about your everyday life and your experiences of health and ageing from your point of view. But first, I would like to obtain some basic information about you.

    1. What is your age?

    2. What is your marital status? (single, widowed, divorced, etc.)

    3. What is your self-identified gender? (male, female, non-binary / fluid, prefer not to say)

    4. Do you have any children / grandchildren? (names, ages)

    5. Where do you live, and how long have you lived there?

    6. What did you do for work before you retired?

    7. How long have you been retired?

    8. Do you have any chronic illnesses or serious health conditions (physical or psychological / cognitive)?

    STUDENT NOTE: What other demographic data might be relevant to know? For example, the older person’s educational level, race / ethnicity, primary language(s) spoken, etc.


    TOPIC I: Understandings of health and aging

    1. Question 1.

    How would you describe ‘a good old age’? Could you provide an example?



    1. Question 2.

    With regards to your own health right now, what is most important to you? (e.g., exercising, eating certain foods, getting a certain amount of sleep, socialising with friends / family, traveling, relaxing, etc.)



    1. Question 3.

    Has your perception of ‘good health’ changed over the years? Why do you think that it has /
    has not changed?



    1. Question 4.

    What activities and hobbies do you enjoy? How often do you participate in them? How many months / years have you participated in them?



    1. Question 5.

    What are the biggest challenges in your daily life? Could you provide an example?




    1. Question 6.

    Do you have ‘a good life’? In what ways is it good or not good?



    1. Question 7.

    If you could change anything in your life – at home or out in the world – what would it be?



    TOPIC II: Care practices and policies

    1. Question 1.

    Is it important that your family / friends are involved in your care as you get older? Do you expect them to take care of you if you become ill or hospitalised? Why / why not?



    1. Question 2.

    Is there anything that your local municipality / community does to support and care for older people? Could you provide an example?



    1. Question 3.

    How could your municipality / community ensure ‘a good life’ for older people?



    1. Question 4.

    Do you have any suggestions for new initiatives or programmes in your local area that could promote better care and support for people throughout the life course?





    • Dahl, Hanne Marlene, Leena Eskelinen, and Eigil Boll Hansen. ”Coexisting principles and logics of elder care: Help to self‐help and consumer‐oriented service?” International Journal of Social Welfare 24, no. 3 (2015): 287–295.
      • https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ijsw.12141?casa_token=6MgkT_Nwox4AAAAA%3AXtL9hh7yaNtu0o6F6aSI2knu3GSZmCHUp1Gt6h1DyqZO9Oe21m6P4K_bxuXafhMSVw8NUNk2OeQ3t08
      • Based on in interviews and observations in four Nordic municipalities, the authors analyse the policy principles of ‘help to self-help’ and ’consumer-oriented service’, which stresses older people’s wishes and priorities. They conclude that ‘help to self-help’ is dominant and deeply entrenched in the identity of professional care workers.
    • Jeon, Yun-Hee, Lindy Clemson, Sharon L. Naismith, Loren Mowszowski, Niki McDonagh, Margaret Mackenzie, Caitlin Dawes, Luisa Krein, and Sarah L. Szanton. ”Improving the social health of community-dwelling older people living with dementia through a reablement program.” International Psychogeriatrics 30, no. 6 (2018): 915–920.
      • https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/FB2DEE6E8D4BAD73D2A94A9E0FF7F4AB/S1041610217001533a.pdf/div-class-title-improving-the-social-health-of-community-dwelling-older-people-living-with-dementia-through-a-reablement-program-div.pdf
      • The authors analyse a person-centred program called I-HARP (Interdisciplinary home-based reablement program) and discuss key contributions that such an approach to care can make to optimising the social health of people living with dementia.
    • Moe, Cathrine Fredriksen, and Berit Støre Brinchmann. ”Optimising Capacity–a service user and caregiver perspective on reablement.” The Grounded Theory Review 15, Issue 2 (2016): 25–39.
      • https://nordopen.nord.no/nord-xmlui/bitstream/handle/11250/2434473/Moe_Brinchmann.pdf?sequence=2
      • Based on interviews with 17 service users and 10 caregivers and observations of reablement provision in Norway, the authors conclude that including the individual’s life history and existing coping strategies is essential to the success of reablement.
    • Newton, Clive. ”Personalising reablement: inserting the missing link.” Working with Older People 16, no. 3 (2012): 117–21.
      • https://doi.org/10.1108/13663661211260934
      • The author presents lessons learned from reablement and from person‐centred practice to propose a more effective model of intervention. Finding that motivation is key to the success of reablement, the author proposes that person‐centred approaches can ensure that motivation supports the achievement of outcomes.
    • Pizzo, Philip A. “A prescription for longevity in the 21st century: Renewing purpose, building and sustaining social engagement, and embracing a positive lifestyle.” JAMA 323 no. 5 (2020): 415–416. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.21087.
      • https://dci.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Copy-of-jama_pizzo_2020_vp_190175.pdf
      • In this short opinion piece, the author coherently outlines a ‘prescription’ that would allow individuals at all stages of the life cycle to optimally align life span with health span, compressing morbidity and sustaining high functionality through the arc of life.
    • Rowe, John W., Terry Fulmer, and Linda Fried. "Preparing for better health and health care for an aging population." JAMA 316, no. 16 (2016): 1643–1644.
      • https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2556000?casa_token=mdiFU02iBAkAAAAA:6bOyc87gS5tQBByspKnunAUBcRuyGhuPNYsjDutxTUAZb0-jcleUyHtC0pVQZMuRbQ0n9A5ISQ
      • With an emphasis on ageing populations in the United States, the authors suggest that advances are needed in four key directions that are central to the health and well-being of older persons, especially those at greatest risk owing to medical conditions or social disadvantage.
    • Thuesen, Jette, Marte Feiring, Daniel Doh, and Rudi G. J. Westendorp. “Reablement in need of theories of ageing: Would theories of successful ageing do?” Ageing and Society (2021): 1–13. doi:10.1017/S0144686X21001203.
      • https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/ageing-and-society/article/reablement-in-need-of-theories-of-ageing-would-theories-of-successful-ageing-do/D34F9EE41AEFC3BE1D9FAD4F22EF51E6
      • The reablement has often been criticised for a lack of theoretical underpinning. By examining a medical and epidemiological, a psychological, and a sociocultural theory of ‘successful ageing’, this article questions taken-for-granted assumptions about not only what works but also how certain assumptions affect the sociocultural models of ageing.
    • Tronto, Joan C. ”Creating caring institutions: Politics, plurality, and purpose.” Ethics and Social Welfare 4, no. 2 (2010): 158–171.
      • https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17496535.2010.484259
      • Rather than modelling care institutions on the family or the market, the author argues that it is only when we make explicit certain background conditions of good family care that we can begin to apply what we know to better institutionalised caring.
    • Tronto, Joan C. “An ethic of care.” Generations: Journal of the American Society on Aging 22, no. 3 (1998): 15–20.
      • http://www.jstor.org/stable/44875693
      • In this classic paper, the author attempts to develop an ethics of care as a contribution to political philosophy, arguing that if societies focus on caring relationships and the relationships between power and caring practices (such as raising children and caring for the sick), a radically different set of social arrangements will ensue.
    • Vernooij-Dassen, Myrra, and Yun-Hee Jeon. ”Social health and dementia: the power of human capabilities.” International Psychogeriatrics 28, no. 5 (2016): 701–703.
      • https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/5A5DB2F840B4BEAFCB8D52D33001AD3A/S1041610216000260a.pdf/social_health_and_dementia_the_power_of_human_capabilities.pdf
      • In this guest editorial, the authors provide an analysis of the concept of ‘social health’ and highlight its potential to contribute to living well both with and without dementia.



    16 How are Peopel who Take Drugs Treated?

    Johannes Lenhard and Eana Meng


    Classroom Activity


    How are people who use drugs treated – a comparison


    We are explaining in the chapter how people who use drugs are treated differently, depending among others on the more general political and ideological context they find themselves in. Access to safe injection facilities is not universal; even free and widespread access to harm reduction materials and services more broadly isn’t as universal as research indicates it should be. We want to enable students to think more about the consequences of certain policies (and laws) when it comes to their effects of people who use drugs by connecting them with different local contexts (including their own). This simple exercise will ask students to compare different approaches across a variety of geographies, including their own, hopefully enabling a better understanding of the more abstract tensions.


    Expected duration: 60 minutes (20 research, 10 presentation making, 10 presentations, 10 wrap up discussion)


    Activity plan: In groups of 2-3 people, students will do self-guided research to learn about local harm reduction practices and policies and examples of how people who use drugs are treated. Afterwards, in brief presentations based on their research exercise, each group will explain a different jurisdiction’s policies and cast studies. In a concluding all-class discussion, students will brainstorm together of how different approaches compare and differ and work towards an understanding of what ‘best practice’ could look like.


    Geographies: in terms of which geographies to focus on, in order to enable the most direct ‘connection’ to the situation, one group should always focus on the local geography where the teaching happens. Second, either the US or the UK as a second geography and a place like Germany, Switzerland or Portugal as a third place will provide strong grounds for comparison.


    Instructions: Working in groups of 2-3 people and with access to a computer, students should start with identifying a ‘prominent’ harm reduction facility (e.g. safe injection facility, methadone clinic, needle exchange) in the capital of the country they have been assigned. From reading the paper, what are core functions (and shortcomings) of the specific facility? Who does the facility cater to? Who is excluded? What are the main harm reduction principles at work? How are they talked about? Perhaps the students can also find out how the facility is financed.


    In a second step, to provide more context, students should attempt to identify the policy and legal framework of that geography; what role does the state play in facilitating harm reduction? Where are the limits? What are the laws enabling/preventing harm reduction in this context? When and how did these laws come into place?


    As a third step, the group should focus on finding (press, journalistic, possibly also legal) critiques of the existing regulation and setup. Who are the critics of what the harm reduction setup is in this context? What are their points of critique? What are they asking for in terms of change?


    To enable comparison about different geographies based on the research findings, every group should finalize a brief (3 slides) presentation to be used in the final part of the course:


    • Slide 1: concrete example of a (local) harm reduction facility, include pictures where possible and make clear what the core features (and limits) are
    • Slide 2: provide broader context, in terms of policies / laws that define and regulate the harm reduction landscape in the specific geography; make clear what is allowed and widespread and what is not
    • Slide 3: show some examples / the context of the critique and backlash against the specific setup; think through what direction the harm reduction landscape is developing in


    In the final presentation and the accompanying eventual discussions, student should pay particular attention to comparing the different geographies. How do things work ‘at home’ versus in other places? The discussion could be centered on thinking through different ways forward, also depending on the political and ideological landscape that they found specific harm reduction landscapes to develop in. The discussion will serve as a point of departure for the whole group to draft a list of the ‘ideal’ harm reduction landscape.


    List of supporting materials: To complete this exercise, students will need access to an internet-connected computer and have consulted both the paper and the additional reading list beforehand.


    Reading List


    “How are people who take drugs treated” Reading List

    Johannes Lenhard and Eana Meng


    Between the war on drugs which largely dominates the American contest, and the embrace of de-criminalization and harm reduction elsewhere, many different models of how to treat people who use drugs are possible. While the article sheds light on some specific approaches which are based mostly on an academic understanding, we hope to provide more context with this annotated reading list. These highlight accessible readings which provide a purview of the various understandings of approaching drug use.


    General overview:


    • Bourgois, P. I., & Schonberg, J. (2009). Righteous dopefiend. University of California Press. (An excellent ethnographic and intimate look into the lives of people who use drugs in San Francisco.)
    • Courtwright, D. T. (2001). Dark paradise: A history of opiate addiction in America. Harvard University Press.
    • Goldensohn, R. (2018, May 25). They shared drugs. someone died. does that make them killers? The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/25/us/drug-overdose-prosecution-crime.html (A look into the stigma that lies behind addiction)
    • Hansen, H., & Netherland, J. (2016). Is the prescription opioid epidemic a white problem? American Journal of Public Health, 106(12), 2127–2129. https://doi.org/10.2105/ajph.2016.303483. (An exploration into the racial elements of addiction management).
    • International Harm Reduction Association. (2010). What is harm reduction? (Vol. 44). London. (for a good overview definition)
    • Meng / Lenhard (2022) Harm Reduction – and what keeps us from embracing it fully (for a literature-based understanding of where we are with harm reduction and what the barriers are)
    • Szalavitz, Maia. 2021. Undoing Drugs: The Untold Story of Harm Reduction and the Future of Addiction. New York, NY: Hachette Go. (A history of harm reduction)
    • Zigon, Jarrett. 2019. A War on People: Drug User Politics and a New Ethics of Community. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. (An ethnography centered on the voices of people who use drugs and an alternative imagining of drug treatment)



    What works and what doesn’t:


    • Bowers, L. (2019). Safe Injection Sites and Drug Injection Overdose: A Literature Review. SSRN Electronic Journal.
    • Campbell, N. D. (2020). OD: Naloxone and the politics of overdose. The MIT Press.
    • Davies, J. (2017, November 2). Expanding Drug Courts won't help ease the opioid crisis. STAT. From https://www.statnews.com/2017/11/01/drug-courts-opioid-crisis/
    • Editorial Board. (2018, February 24). Let cities open safe injection sites. The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/24/opinion/sunday/drugs-safe-injection-sites.html
    • Hilgers, L. (2018, May 19). Treat addiction like cancer. The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/19/opinion/sunday/addiction-cancer-treatment.html
    • Rubin R, Suran M. Supervised Consumption Sites—A Tool for Reducing Risk of Overdose Deaths and Infectious Diseases in People Who Use Illicit Drugs. JAMA. 2022;327(16):1532–1534. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.4017.



    Caste study examples:


    Vancouver’s INSITE has become one of the poster children of how harm reduction policies spread and are fought for; much has been written about the side, including:


    • Boyd, N. (2013). Lessons from INSITE, Vancouver’s supervised injection facility: 2003-2012. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 20(3), 234–240.


    • Lupick, Travis. (2017). Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction, London: Arsenal Press.


    Also in the early 2000s, Portugal has fundamentally changed its approach to drug policy towards a radical harm reduction approach; research on its effectiveness is starting to appear:



    The US system, however, is still mostly based on criminalization dating back to the war on drugs; much has been written about how we can see that these policies aren’t working either for the people who use drugs nor for the tax payer; some accessible examples of writing include:



    17 How Should We Design Access to a Health Care System

    Johan Gersel, Daniel Souleles, Morten Sørensen Thaning


    Apologies, no supplementary material just yet.


    18 What Should a Job Look Like

    Hannah Elliott


    Classroom Materials


    What should a job look like?


    Hannah Elliott, PhD


    Copenhagen Business School


    Teaching activity: Digital platforms and gig work


    Digital platforms have accelerated the rise of gig work, enabling companies to recruit labour for short-term assignments, from geographically tethered services such as food delivery and private transportation to remote services such as transcription, virtual assistance and search engine optimization. Many of the precarities and vulnerabilities entailed in gig work via digital platforms are similar to those described for the outsourced work on tea plantations in Kenya described in the chapter, while others are more particular to the digital platform economy. This exercise allows students to make comparisons between the tea plantation case and gig work via digital platforms across global north and south contexts. In doing so, they will be encouraged to consider what measures could be taken to address the rise of precarious labour via digital platforms beyond those proposed in the chapter, as well as whether (if at all) and (if so) how these measures should be tailored differently to global north and south contexts.


    Expected duration: 45 minutes (20 minutes on research, 15 minutes on presentations, 10 minutes wrap up discussion). 2 x 45 minute sessions (45 minutes for research, 30 minutes for presentations and 15 minutes for wrap up discussion) would allow for deeper investigation and more detailed class presentations.


    Activity plan:


    Groups of 3-4 students select a digital platform employing gig work. The instructor can provide examples of potential candidates across a range of platforms and types of jobs, including remote knowledge work[1] and geographically-fixed ride hailing[2] and delivery services.[3] If students have been involved in platform work themselves and feel comfortable sharing their experiences, they are encouraged to select the same platform to investigate. While groups should choose a platform based on interest and experience, the activity may work more effectively if groups choose different platforms, since groups will likely learn more from each other during the presentation part of the class. As students are encouraged to reflect on experiences across global north and south contexts, groups should be encouraged to choose two comparable platforms operating in a global north and south context where appropriate. This applies more to geographically-tethered services like ride hailing and delivery than to remote work, since much of the latter is facilitated by platforms with a global reach in spite of being headquartered in the global north. Groups who choose platforms like Upwork are thus able to do this comparative work while focusing on a single platform.


    Detailed instructions:


    Students will be given a list of questions to consider when conducting their research into gig work for the platform in focus. Questions that instructors might consider include:


    • Who is the employee? Who is the employer? What is the role of the platform? Where is the platform headquartered? Where are the employers geographically located? Where are the employees geographically located?
    • How are employees recruited? What are the conditions of the job? What (if anything) is provided by the employer (in terms of equipment or training in order to provide the service)? What do workers have to provide themselves?
    • Who did this kind of job traditionally (prior to the rise of platform-facilitated gig work)? Where? Under what conditions?
    • What local and global conditions (economic, political, legal, social) might have facilitated the shift from more traditional employment in this sector to the contemporary rise of platform-facilitated gig work?
    • What might be the pros and cons of this kind of work for the employer? How might these vary across global north/south contexts?
    • What might be the pros and cons of this kind of work for the employee? How might these vary across global north/south contexts?
    • How might this work have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic?
    • What might be done to address some of the problems identified with this kind of gig work? Are there benefits to this kind of work that could be retained? Might/should solutions vary across global north and south contexts?


    Groups’ research might be based on a number of sources, including platform companies’ websites and policy documents vis-à-vis workers and clients; national and international policy positions and legal frameworks regarding platform-facilitated gig employment; testimonies from former or current workers via Facebook groups or Twitter handles and hashtags dealing with gig worker issues; individual testimonies from any group members who work or have formerly worked for the selected platform (if they’re willing to share); and so on.


    Supporting materials:


    Groups will need access to at least one computer with internet. Alternatively, teachers may be more prescriptive, providing students with more direction by selecting platform company cases in advance, assigning cases to groups and providing print outs of relevant sources that they can work with in class.


    [1] E.g. Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer.com, PeoplePerHour, Amazon Mechanical Turk

    [2] Uber and Lyft are examples that can be found across global north and south contexts, while a wide range of services building on the Uber model operate within a more limited geographical scope

    [3] E.g. Deliveroo, Wolt, GrubHub, UberEats, JustEat. Again, some platforms operate across global north and south contexts while others are more limited in their geographical scope


    Supplementary Reading Material


    What should a job look like?


    Hannah Elliott, PhD


    Copenhagen Business School


    This reading list offers a range of perspectives on precarious labour – from macro perspectives on global conditions that have given rise to the informalization of work, as well as micro perspectives on workers’ experiences of gig work. While the literature includes insights from global north and south contexts, the majority of texts include or privilege experiences from the global south, which are often glossed over in debates about the ‘gig economy’ in the global north. As shown in the chapter on the case of tea plantation work in Kenya, gig work in many global south contexts is more norm than novelty. Students are encouraged to reflect upon the uneven effects of global gig work, and to consider the similarities and differences around how the politics of precarious labour might take shape across northern and southern contexts.


    Reading list


    • Anwar, M. A. and M. Graham (2022) The Digital Continent: Placing Africa in Planetary Networks of Work. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


    This book takes an economic geography perspective on the rise of the digital economy in Africa, whereby growing numbers of African workers are employed in remote digital knowledge work via platforms such as Upwork. Although often considered a ‘step up’ from the informal economy that has dominated African labour markets, digital gig work comes with familiar and new precarities and has uneven global effects.


    • Ferguson, J. & T. M. Li (2018) ‘Beyond the “proper job:” Political-economic Analysis after the Century of Labouring Man’. Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, Working Paper 51.


    This working paper is cited in the chapter, and sets out a research agenda for examining the emergent realities at play in contexts where the ‘proper job’ or permanent, full-time employment, once taken-for-granted as a universal source of livelihood and social belonging, is on the retreat.


    • Ilana Gershon (2017) Down and Out in the New Economy: How People Find (or Don’t Find) Work Today. University of Chicago Press.


    This book is an ethnography of the neoliberal employment regime, and examines what it takes to get work in the ‘knowledge economy’ in corporate America. Gershon argues that the basis for employment has shifted from a model whereby workers rent out their skills and services to employees or firms to a ‘business to business’ model, whereby workers are understood (and understand themselves) as businesses. The book offers insights into changing worker subjectivities amid a shift from long-term, permanent employment to shorter-term, contract-based work, albeit in a highly skilled sector.



    • Graeber, D. (2018) Bullshit Jobs: A Theory. New York: Simon & Schuster


    This book doesn’t address precarious labour as such, but challenges the assumption that work is necessary for a fulfilling and meaningful life (see also Weeks 2011, below). While technology has led to reductions in agricultural and manufacturing labour, it has proliferated administration-heavy and often socially meaningless tasks (“bullshit jobs”) amid the idea that we should all, ideally, work hard and fulltime in order to reach our full potential. In dismantling this assumption, Graeber proposes Universal Basic Income as a solution that could allow people to work in ways that are meaningful for them at their own leisure.


    • Gray, M. and S. Suri (2019) Ghost Work: How to stop Silicon Valley building a new global underclass. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


    This book, written by an anthropologist and computer scientist, focuses on the workers who carry out diverse and largely invisible digital knowledge work. Drawing on their research into the experiences of ‘ghost workers’ in the US and India across four platforms, the authors set an agenda by which researchers, activists and lawmakers can begin to engage with this hidden labour, in doing so improving conditions for workers and shaping the future of work for the better.


    • Institute for Global Prosperity (2017) Social prosperity for the future: A proposal for Universal Basic Services. London: IGP Social Prosperity Network, University College London.


    This report is cited in the chapter, and sets out a proposal for Universal Basic Services in the UK as an alternative to the more commonly advocated Universal Basic Income (see Graeber 2018, above) as a solution to falling wages, precarious work and a failing welfare system.


    • Millar, K. M. (2017) ‘Toward a critical politics of precarity’. Sociology Compass, 11: 1-11.


    This conceptual piece is cited in the chapter, and makes the case for a critical politics of precarity, warning against an inadvertent conservative politics of precarity that romanticizes permanent, full-time employment.

    • Munck, D. (2013) ‘The Precariat: A view from the south’. Third World Quarterly, 34 (5): 747-762.

    This article critiques Guy Standing’s often-cited (though not on this reading list) notion of ‘The Precariat’ – in particular for eliding experiences from the global South.

    • Ravenelle, A. J. (2019) Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy. University of California Press.

    This book charts the rise of the sharing economy in post-financial crisis US, demonstrating how technology and the platform economy has changed the work paradigm, allowing employers new tools and rationales for reducing workers’ rights. Although focusing on different areas of the platform economy, the book makes for an interesting comparison with the Anwar and Graham (2022) book listed above in terms of how different labour histories articulate with gig work dynamics in global north (US) and south (Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Egypt) contexts.


    • Taha, H. (2017) ‘Making cheaper labor: Domestic outsourcing and development in the Galilee.’ Anthropology of Work Review, 41 (1): 24-35.


    This article presents an ethnographic account of domestic labour outsourcing in the high-tech industry in northern Israel, where work is outsourced to Palestinian citizens in Israel, and succeeds in busting neoliberal myths that this model is innovative, new and socially conscious, enabling the inclusion and integration of Palestinians into the Israeli economy and promoting peace. Rather, Taha argues that outsourcing ultimately builds on established historical patterns, reinscribing Palestinians as a cheaper labour force.


    • Weeks, K. (2011) The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics and Postwork Imaginaries. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press.


    In this influential and often-cited book, Weeks challenges the widespread acceptance of waged labour as a natural or inevitable activity, as a means of defining ourselves and others as social and political subjects, and as an ethical obligation. She proposes a postwork society that would allow people to be productive and creative outside of the bounds of employment.




    19 How Should Innovation Work?

    Michael Scroggins


    Apologies, no supplementary material just yet.


    20 Who Should Get Investment Capital?

    Meilssa Beresford


    Apologies, no supplementary material just yet.


    21 Who Should Own a Business?

    David Wood and Lenor Palladino


    Apologies, no supplementary material just yet.


    22 How Should the Government Decide from whom to Buy Stuff?

    Jeppe Groot


    Apologies, no supplementary material just yet.