Fragile heterotopias

a case study of a Danish social enterprise

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Social entrepreneurship has been promoted as a way to create community development. However, social entrepreneurship is a contested field of research. Critics tend to stress that social entrepreneurship is merely a crystallization of market-oriented neoliberal agendas, whereas proponents emphasize aspects such as solidarity and a new economy that is fundamentally different from capitalist market economy. This study takes up these discussions by relating them to how social entrepreneurship is enacted in practice. The study was conducted as ethnographic fieldwork in a Danish voluntary organization involved in social work and work integration and focuses on how dilemmas regarding social and economic goals are handled in the everyday practice. The findings of the study show that, rather than representing either a market-oriented or a solidarity-oriented approach in pure form, the organization demonstrates co-existence of both paradigms of solidarity and neoliberalism. It is argued that precisely this interplay between the paradigms might be a distinguishing feature of social entrepreneurship that could be understood in terms of Foucault's notion of heterotopia as an ‘other space’. This feature of social entrepreneurship holds both potentials as well as challenges when creating new types of community development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunity Development Journal
Volume51
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)77-94
Number of pages18
ISSN0010-3802
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Cite this

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title = "Fragile heterotopias: a case study of a Danish social enterprise",
abstract = "Social entrepreneurship has been promoted as a way to create community development. However, social entrepreneurship is a contested field of research. Critics tend to stress that social entrepreneurship is merely a crystallization of market-oriented neoliberal agendas, whereas proponents emphasize aspects such as solidarity and a new economy that is fundamentally different from capitalist market economy. This study takes up these discussions by relating them to how social entrepreneurship is enacted in practice. The study was conducted as ethnographic fieldwork in a Danish voluntary organization involved in social work and work integration and focuses on how dilemmas regarding social and economic goals are handled in the everyday practice. The findings of the study show that, rather than representing either a market-oriented or a solidarity-oriented approach in pure form, the organization demonstrates co-existence of both paradigms of solidarity and neoliberalism. It is argued that precisely this interplay between the paradigms might be a distinguishing feature of social entrepreneurship that could be understood in terms of Foucault's notion of heterotopia as an ‘other space’. This feature of social entrepreneurship holds both potentials as well as challenges when creating new types of community development.",
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Fragile heterotopias : a case study of a Danish social enterprise. / Sievers, Silla Marie Mørch.

In: Community Development Journal, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2016, p. 77-94.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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T2 - a case study of a Danish social enterprise

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AB - Social entrepreneurship has been promoted as a way to create community development. However, social entrepreneurship is a contested field of research. Critics tend to stress that social entrepreneurship is merely a crystallization of market-oriented neoliberal agendas, whereas proponents emphasize aspects such as solidarity and a new economy that is fundamentally different from capitalist market economy. This study takes up these discussions by relating them to how social entrepreneurship is enacted in practice. The study was conducted as ethnographic fieldwork in a Danish voluntary organization involved in social work and work integration and focuses on how dilemmas regarding social and economic goals are handled in the everyday practice. The findings of the study show that, rather than representing either a market-oriented or a solidarity-oriented approach in pure form, the organization demonstrates co-existence of both paradigms of solidarity and neoliberalism. It is argued that precisely this interplay between the paradigms might be a distinguishing feature of social entrepreneurship that could be understood in terms of Foucault's notion of heterotopia as an ‘other space’. This feature of social entrepreneurship holds both potentials as well as challenges when creating new types of community development.

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