Gifting and sharing in a context of crisis

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Gifting and sharing in a context of crisis

New infrastructures of solidarity between strangers?

This project, led by Dr Eleanor Jupp, focuses on local initiatives around gifting and sharing, both online and face-to-face, including food, clothes, hygiene products and other everyday objects.

These small-scale expressions of care, welfare and solidarity between strangers seem to be proliferating in the context of failures in political, economic and environmental structures in society, especially the Covid-19 pandemic and the losses of welfare services linked to austerity.  Yet instead of seeing these projects as taking place in the shadows of these crises, this project instead considers what wider structures of society can learn from these micro-initiatives, about care, provisioning and solidarity.

The project takes place 2021-22 in three contrasting locations in the UK: Kent, Stoke-on-Trent and South London.  It involves interviews and ethnography in order to answer the following questions:

  • What is the extent and reach of sharing and gifting initiatives in these locations?
  • What kinds of interactions and relationships do they involve, both online and face-to-face?
  • What can be learnt from them about social, political and economic futures?

Please get in touch if you are interested in the project or would like to get involved as a participant.

The project is funded by a Political Economy Fellowship Grant from the Independent Social Research Foundation.  It is supported by an academic advisory group of Dr Sarah Marie Hall, Professor Janet Newman and Dr Andrew Williams. 

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