Vol. 6 No. 3 (2019): The social and informal economy of food
While the “social economy” and “informal economy” have traditionally been regarded as separate areas of research, findings from a number of Canadian studies indicate significant overlap between the two. First, both share an emphasis on personal relationships, trust, and non-market values—which are inherently challenging to define, and often impossible to quantify. Second, both offer spaces for non-traditional forms of innovation as well as opportunities for deep insights into social relationships, cultural meanings, and environmental values. Most importantly, both challenge us to think of economic systems in far more complex ways than mainstream economic theory would propose. In this special issue, we offer a set of papers and field reports that detail the work of several community food initiatives, link our observations to broader bodies of literature in food studies and in social economy, and invite other researchers to engage in this discussion and collective efforts.