Volume 11, 2019
Daniela López, Valeria Laborda
Economic Institutions From a Phenomenological Perspective
The Case of a Social and Solidarity Economy in Buenos Aires
The paper aims to analyse the potentiality of Schutzian phenomenological approach on institutions. We will maintain that this point of view has to take into account at least three aspects of institutions. Firstly, institutions should be considered as objective and sedimented configurations of meaning. Secondly, the historicity and the genesis of the institutional objectified meaning should be explored. Thirdly, life in modern societies shows how reference to the generating activities has been lost in our institutions and how that process has led to the disaffection of the citizens towards them. Motivated by understanding the process through which certain actors question their relative-natural concept of economic life and institute alternative types of economic actions, the article explores a case study of an economic institution in the City of Buenos Aires belonging to the so-called “Other” economy. Following the model of the well-informed citizen, the manuscript describes a type of “economic citizen” who transforms the imposed economic relevances experienced in everyday life into the centre of interest. The emergence of that interest is analysed by tracing back this particular economic institution to the process of sedimentation and of genesis of meaning. It is demonstrated that the process of institutionalization is shaped in contrast to dominant anonymous economic institutions.