The politics of the real economy

Federico Neiburg, Jane I. Guyer


In this special section of Hau (part II), we present four texts that allow us to go further with the objective to provoke the real, ethnographically. We explore the empirical and conceptual program involved in the making of an ethnographic theory of the “real economy,” a critical concept shaping contemporary public debates about the present and future of our collective existence. In this cooperative exploration of a concept that holds varied and shifting places, we are particularly interested in questioning how assemblages of vernacular and scientific realizations and enactments of the real economy are linked to concepts of truth and to moral values; how these multiple and shifting realities become present, and entangle with historically and socially situated lives; and how the formal realizations of the real in the governance of economies engage with the experiential life of ordinary people.


economy, reality, realization, ethnographic theory, economic lives, global economy

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/698221