Beyond coping strategies: motivation for food self-provisioning and sharing in the Czech Republic
|Fakulta / Pracoviště MU
|Informal economies, including sharing and food self-provisioning (FSP), have become a subject of extensive interdisciplinary discussion. The marginalisation theory has established itself as the most common interpretation for continuing viability of non-capitalist forms of production and exchange despite the attempts of market economy to commodify all spheres of human life. According to the marginalization theory, the informal economic relations are the expression of coping strategies of poor and marginalised groups, or alternatively the ways how these groups domesticate changes brought by neoliberalism. Validity of this theory for explanation of widespread FSP and sharing among Czech households has been examined in the study. The Czech Republic provides a particularly good setting for studies of informal economy: it has undergone rapid economic changes in the past quarter of a century yet at the same time the non-market relations have remained widespread. For example, 37% of all households grow part of their food consumption in their gardens, and 19 % of population regularly render assistance with home redesign to people outside their households. To test the marginalization theory, we asked a sample of 2058 of Czech households about extent of their non-market economic relations and about their motivation to participate in those relations. In the paper the structure of different motives has been examined. The results, based on comparison of the extent of FSP and sharing among the middle class and the working class households, and among rural and urban households, show that while the economic motivation is significant, other motives are more important. People grow their food and participate in sharing networks mainly not because they have been forced to do so by unfavourable economic conditions, but for social reasons, for health reasons and for enjoyment.