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Strange Exchange: Using a Complementary Currency to Rearticulate Ethics, Place and Community

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This paper draws upon research on a complementary currency to explore the ethical dimensions of that community economic development work. In doing so, the paper argues that the figure of the stranger is increasingly important to understand in theorizing community, especially given increased attention to the discourse of the stranger in theories of ethics and identity in a globalizing world. As such, the paper lays out three modes of the strange—economic, geographic and ethical—which emerge out of this complementary currency project. In identifying these three modes of being strange, the paper validates ways of articulating strangers and strangeness without essentializing the strange, ignoring the power relations that produce strangers, or pushing aside the strange in favor of blase communion.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent Scholar, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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