Ryan Foley

Ryan Foley

DPhil, Social And Cultural Anthropology

St Catherine's College

Thesis: It's need, not greed: finding value in cooperative organization (working title)

DPhil Research: In the wake of a financial crisis that threatens to continue without a clear end in sight, cooperatives may provide an alternative business model that promotes social responsibility and sustainable development. Consistent with the movement's birth as part of the socio-economic transformations of the industrial revolution, the model is again coming into the spotlight. Yet numerous studies of cooperatives and development show that these organizations have often failed to be economically viable or alternatively have found economic success through imitating neoliberal models that focus on efficiency and competitiveness. My research of worker cooperatives in Italy seeks to understand how these businesses interpret and seek to apply cooperative values such as democracy, solidarity and equality in every day work. Are the cooperatives able to compete in a marketplace that is guided by neoliberal values without compromising on their own?

Other Research Interests:  economic anthropology, anthropology of work, social networks, class identity, process of inter-generational change

Selected publications:
2012. A new generation of challenges: seeking independence on an Oxford estate, Journal of the Anthropology Society of Oxford Online, New Series, Volume IV, 1:96-105

List of site pages