In this paper I explore the provisioning strategies of diverse Chicago households in a period of economic turmoil and neoliberal austerity. I draw upon interviews with eBay sellers, urban homesteaders, undocumented immigrants, and formerly incarcerated mothers. This research asks:
What types of provisioning labors and strategies are involved in sustaining households?
What are the broader social and policy contexts in which households must provision?
What are the gendered and racialized dimensions of provisioning?
My research is still in the early stages, but I will share some initial data and arguments about commonality, inequality and the interactive role of households, labors, and broader processes. My talk will also consider the theoretical terrain and concepts, such as social reproduction and provisioning, that might help us understand these processes.
Brenda Parker is a GCI Scholar, and IRRPP Scholar, and an Assistant Professor in Urban Planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interests include gender, race, inequality, urban policy and governance, and qualitative research design. She is currently writing a book about gender, race, and urban neoliberalism to be published by the University of Georgia Press.