Uncertainty is a ubiquitous reality that demands anthropological attention from differently situated epistemologies that pay attention to innovations and continuities, seek to link ethnographic materials to theoretical concerns, and focus on the interplay between different aspects of people's lives.
The crisis that the world has experienced in the last half-decade calls for new forms of thinking about ordinary people's economic life and its engagement with social relations, cultural constructs, and political dynamics. People everywhere have had to develop new ways of coping with risk, uncertainty and precarity. Anthropologists have been addressing these issues from differently situated epistemologies and experiences. Our goal is to bring together scholars representing these different approaches and foster a dialogue across epistemologies, nations, and approaches. We are particularly concerned with problems of scale, namely the fact that the decisions of state authorities, corporations, and supra-national bodies are affecting what takes place in people's lives in the intimacy of home and communities. In response to these changes, people may foreground both continuities from the past, whether real or imagined, and innovative forms of social action. We recognize that people's economic worlds involve a great deal more than just economic transactions, and involve a broad range of human activities beyond the purely material which are constituted by different and co-existing regimes of value. We solicit papers that address these issues on the basis of ethnographic data and focus on the particular analytic categories in terms of which anthropologists situated in different epistemological traditions have sought to understand the relevant dynamics. This panel is sponsored by the American Anthropological Association's Committee on World Anthropologies.