Chapter 14 Expanding the realm of the possible: field theory and a relational framing of social entrepreneurship
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This chapter argues for a ‘relational’ framing of social entrepreneurship in contrast to the dominant ‘market’ framing. It builds on the constructs ‘social space’ and ‘field theory’, as introduced by Kurt Lewin and Pierre Bourdieu, to portray social entrepreneurship as a widely distributed, prosaic process of everyday interaction through which citizens co-construct the societies in which they take part. A relational view of social entrepreneurship focuses on the quality of relations that people form with each other and with the physical environment. It views social entrepreneurship as a relational process that can potentially reconfigure social spaces, thereby expanding the realm of the possible. This chapter develops this framework through an analysis of Beit Issie Shapiro, an entrepreneurial organization that in spatial terms, functioned as an ‘enclave’ that challenged, and played a major role in transforming, the existing field of services for children with developmental disabilities and their families in Israel.

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