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Cooperatives in New OrleansCollective Action and Urban Development$
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Anne Gessler

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496827616

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496827616.001.0001

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Unearthing a Genealogy of Grassroots Economic Development

Unearthing a Genealogy of Grassroots Economic Development

(p.3) Introduction Unearthing a Genealogy of Grassroots Economic Development
Cooperatives in New Orleans

Anne Gessler

University Press of Mississippi

The introduction frames the book as a critical intervention in the current debate about the role of alternative grassroots models in modernizing mainstream political and economic structures. After framing the political and theoretical issues at stake in New Orleans’s cooperative movement, the introduction outlines how historical local cooperatives interact with transnational cooperative principles to improve their community, expand opportunities for civic participation, and reform systems of governance. Each chapter’s case study represents consumer, producer, or distribution cooperatives that manifest different visions of ideal capital-worker relations and are inspired by local and international utopian socialist, Rochdale, and hybrid racial justice cooperative models. Each example is constitutive of black, working-class, female, and immigrant residents particular subject positions and economic needs. Consequently, the book articulates and debates citizens relationship the state, an ideological drama that plays out in the city’s social spaces to either propel or retard larger challenges to capitalism.

Keywords:   capitalism, cooperative movement, Socialism, Rochdale, Racial justice

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