Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geography
This thesis explores the political contexts within which the movement of solidarity economy has emerged in Brazil and investigates the challenges it poses as well as the possibilities it opens up for the movement to push forth its non-capitalist project of society. In particular, I examine the tension between the discourse of autonomy the movement proclaims and the financial-political dependence it shows in relation to `progressive government' of Lula and his party. My work aims at shedding light to the pedagogical praxis of non-dominant forms of governance being enacted by workers as they organize solidarity economy initiatives to regain control over their livelihoods and political agency. I conclude that in order for one to perceive the emancipatory possibilities that solidarity economy entails one must approach `the economic' in a broader sense, taking into consideration the ontological, political and social dimensions of diverse economies, while avoiding Lula-centric and state-centric views of Brazilian politics.