What is it about?

A dominant belief is that the continuing encroachment of the market economy into everyday life is inevitable, unstoppable and irreversible. Over the past decade, however, a small stream of thought has started to question this commercialization thesis. This paper seeks to contribute to this emergent body of thought by developing a ‘‘whole economy’’ approach for capturing the multifarious economic practices in community economies and then applying this to an English locality.

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Why is it important?

This reveals the limited commercialization of everyday life and the persistence of a multitude of economic practices in all neighborhood-types. Participation rates in all economic practices (except one-to-one unpaid work and ‘‘off-the-radar’’ unpaid work) are higher in relatively affluent populations. Uneven development is marked by affluent populations that are ‘‘work busy’’, engaging in a diverse spectrum of economic practices conducted more commonly out of choice, and disadvantaged populations that are more ‘‘work deprived’’, conducting a narrower array of activities usually out of necessity.


The paper provides evidence from a western nation of the limited commercialization of daily life.

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Rethinking the commercialization of everyday life: a “whole economy” perspective, foresight, October 2010, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/14636681011089989.
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