To Share or Not to Share? the Maker Movement and Agroecology As Cases of Collaborative Collective Action

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:45
Oral Presentation
Izaskun ARTEGUI ALCAIDE, University of the Basque Country, Spain
Ignacia PERUGORRIA, University of the Basque Country, Spain
The concept of collective action has long been ubiquitous in the field of sociology, and has even given birth to the area of social movement studies. Our interest lies, however, in an aspect of collective action that has so far remained relatively understudied: its collaborative dimension. We argue that collaborating implies a shared and active participation in the design and operation of initiatives. It entails, as well, the development of a collective identity generating a sense of belonging, and a conscious commitment to living in a community of equals. Collaborating means, thus, much more than the “mere” act of sharing associated to the booming sharing economy.

Our paper sets out to unpack some of the arguments and debates that are emerging in the context of the novel sharing economy scenario. We will begin by presenting a theoretical and genealogical analysis of what we understand for collaborative collective action. We will then examine the empirical continuities and disruptions with regards to previous forms of cooperation.

Our analysis will be based on the comparison of two a priori dissimilar case studies: the maker movement and agroecology. The former constitutes the epitome of innovation, new technologies and open source code. The latter rests on tradition, sustainability and responsible consumption. We argue that despite their marked differences in terms of origins, trajectory and goals, both have developed a certain “politics of sharing” and have managed to satisfy individual and collective needs while pursuing the principles of equality, justice, horizontality and the reconstruction of the commons.

Data will come from a qualitative study conducted between 2017 and 2018 in the Basque Autonomous Community through in-depth interviews, non-participant observations and the analysis of secondary sources.