Circular Citizenship. How founders, followers and participants of Circle That realize economic lives that constitute a way of living together, in the now and future.
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By conducting ethnographic fieldwork in collaboration with the Utrecht-based initiative ‘Circle That’, this research explores the ways in which citizenship formation among people who are interested in and/or engaged with the circular economy can be understood through their economic lives. By specifically focussing on people who were related to Circle That, this enquiry gives a thorough description of people that are concerned with the circular economy in a linear economy dominated society. Furthermore, by drawing from both Economic Anthropology and the Anthropology of Citizenship, I argue that we can understand the economic lives of my research participants in terms of Circular Citizenship. This approach extends former understandings of citizenship in two ways. First, by looking at the economic acts aimed at making a life worth living (i.e. a neosubstantivists approach to economic life) it becomes clear how this forms citizenship that transcends the now, thereby giving citizenship a broadened temporal dimension. And second, by showing how my respondents define the world they live in, how they experience living in this world, and by arguing that a socio-economic system could be seen as something people seek belongingness to, I argue that circular citizens aim to realize belongingness to a socio-economic system that does not yet exists (i.e. the circular economy/circular society). I therefore conclude that we can understand the economic lives of my research participants as lives of a circular citizen.