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Urban Studies and Planning Commons

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Selected Works

Growth and Development

Community development

Colin C Williams

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Urban Studies and Planning

Theorizing The Self-Service Economy: A Case Study Of Do-It-Yourself (Diy) Activity, Colin C. Williams Dec 2011

Theorizing The Self-Service Economy: A Case Study Of Do-It-Yourself (Diy) Activity, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Recently, it has become increasingly recognised that self-servicing is a growing rather than declining phenomenon. To explain this, a range of competing theories have emerged which variously portray those engaged in self-servicing either as rational economic actors, dupes, seekers of self-identity, or simply doing so out of necessity or choice. This paper evaluates critically the validity of these rival explanations. To do this, the extent of, and reasons for, self-servicing in the domestic realm is empirically evaluated through an internet survey of 5,500 people living in the city of Sheffield in England. This resulted in 418 valid responses (a ...


The Illusion Of Capitalism In Contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study Of The Gambia, Colin C. Williams Dec 2010

The Illusion Of Capitalism In Contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study Of The Gambia, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

Purpose – This paper aims to evaluate critically the meta-narrative that there is no alternative to capitalism. Building upon an emerging body of post-structuralist thought that has begun deconstructing this discourse in relation to western economies and post-Soviet societies, this paper further extends this critique to Sub-Saharan Africa by investigating the degree to which people in the Gambia rely on the capitalist market economy for their livelihood. Reporting the results of 80 household face-to-face interviews (involving over 500 people), the finding is that only a small minority of households in contemporary Gambian society rely on the formal market economy alone to ...


Rethinking The Nature Of Community Economies: Some Lessons From Post-Soviet Ukraine, Colin C. Williams Dec 2010

Rethinking The Nature Of Community Economies: Some Lessons From Post-Soviet Ukraine, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

This paper contributes to a small but growing body of thought that has questioned the hegemony of capitalism by revealing the persistence of multifarious economic practices in everyday community economies. To further advance this school of thought, first, a conceptual framework is developed to map the diverse economic practices used by communities and second, this is applied through a survey of 600 households in Ukraine. The outcome is to reveal that just as multifarious economic practices prevailed under state socialism, the same applies in societies in transition to capitalism, suggesting that there are alternative futures for community economies beyond market ...


Repaying Favours: Unravelling The Nature Of Community Exchnage In An English Locality, Colin C. Williams Dec 2008

Repaying Favours: Unravelling The Nature Of Community Exchnage In An English Locality, Colin C. Williams

Colin C Williams

A recurring assumption in community development has been that when material support is provided on a one-to-one basis to the extended family or social and neighbourhood networks, such favours are repaid by offering help in return rather than money. Reporting a study of the community exchanges of 120 households in an English locality, however, the finding is that well over one-third of these were repaid using money. The outcome is a call for the community development literature to recognise and respond to the existence of this sphere of ‘paid favours’ which demonstrates how monetary transactions can be neither market-like nor ...