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The Difference that Class Makes: Neoliberalization and Non-Capitalism in the Fishing Industry of New England

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Fishing economies are typically represented as pre-capitalist and as a barrier to capital accumulation rather than as an alternative economy with its own potentials. Privatization (and capitalism) appears logical and inevitable because “there is no alternative” described or given. The class analysis presented here focuses on questions of property and subjectivity and describes fishing as a non-capitalist and community-based economy consonant with both a tradition of common property and an image of “fishermen” as independent and interested in fairness and equity. While the latter is associated with a neoliberal subject aligned with the capitalist economy, a class analysis of fishing repositions “fishermen” as community subjects aligned with a community economy.

Keywords: class analysis; common property; diverse economies; fisheries; neoliberalism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, USA;, Email:

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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