The Diversity of Solidarity Economies: A View from Danish Minority Gangs


  • Christina Jerne



The term “solidarity economy” is most commonly deployed to describe altruistic and socially beneficial ways of doing business, often in opposition to ones that are less so. Drawing on a year and a half of ethnographic fieldwork among Danish minority gangs, this article seeks to open the discussion on solidarity economies beyond these traditional understandings by adding the perspective of gangs. It explores the more exclusive and violent aspects of solidarity economies, drawing on the analytical lenses of reciprocity and pooling. These dimensions afford the tracing of the conditions of solidarity within that group, rather than the mere verification of its absence or presence. I conclude that (A) solidarity economies are empirically multiple, operating on different and (a)synchronous planes as well as expressing themselves in different types; (B) solidarity is analytically beneficial for reading for economic difference; and lastly that (C) in this context, solidarity economies are inhabited as sites of struggle between two opposite, but specular forms of cultural fundamentalism.

Author Biography

Christina Jerne

is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen. Her research interests include diverse economies, experience economy, and organized crime. She is a member of the Community Economies Institute, a non-profit organization that fosters thought and practice to help communities survive well together.

Christina Jerne can be reached at


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