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Daniel Ericsson and Monika Kostera

The Introduction presents hope and organizing as radical ideas in the times of the interregnum. The book is outlined and its main thrust is narrated.

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Organizing Hope

Narratives for a Better Future

Edited by Daniel Ericsson and Monika Kostera

Crumbling social institutions, disintegrating structures, and a profound sense of uncertainty are the signs of our time. In this book, this contemporary crisis is explored and illuminated, providing narratives that suggest how the notion of hope can be leveraged to create powerful methods of organizing for the future. Chapters first consider theoretical and philosophical perspectives on hopeful organizing, followed by both empirical discussions about achieving change and more imaginative narratives of alternative and utopian futures, including an exploration of the differing roles of work, creativity, idealism, inclusivity and activism.
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Anke Strauß and Christina Ciupke

Hope is a paradoxical place. It is where we store what we long for and what we are fearful of at the same time. It is where we acknowledge the fragility of our lives. Hope lies in uncertainty.

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Edited by Daniel Ericsson and Monika Kostera

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Marta B. Calás, Seray Ergene and Linda Smircich

This chapter repositions ‘social entrepreneurship’ in the contemporary context of the Anthropocene, when social, environmental and economic transformation would require fundamental changes in (human/anthropocentric) modes of being in the world. Social entrepreneurship may have something to contribute to these important matters but its current modes of existence are trapped in a space of signification that may no longer be there. What may be that space which is no longer there? What is the ‘there’ we should attend to now? If we do so imagine, what would change in these two signifiers, ‘social’ and ‘entrepreneurship’. Thus, this chapter is an exercise in the ‘what if?’ including ‘the Anthropocene’ as part of our contemporary imaginary. Reflecting on these questions, we engage three current literatures: postcapitalism; new materialisms; and posthumanism, to articulate a continuum of practices and entities we assemble as becoming-socialentrepreneurship. This harbours the necessary processes to address the emergence of a post-anthropocentric world. Our contribution is both theoretical and empirically grounded, offering specific examples with contrasting interpretations, from a negation of social entrepreneurship to a hopeful reading of its becoming-socialentrepreneurship.

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Chris Steyaert and Pascal Dey

In the opening chapter, we explain the importance of engaging critically with social entrepreneurship. We underline the need to make an incisive assessment of social entrepreneurship through the way we (still) publish, critique and imagine books in this field. To all those who want to embark on the path of social entrepreneurship, or are simply curious to hear more about the buzz surrounding social entrepreneurship, we say be aware: we need critique, and we need it now! The affirmative critiques we offer to social entrepreneurship are not based on a priori judgements of social entrepreneurship performed from afar, but are intimately related to specific, phenomenological events and observations. Furthermore, we recapitulate how this book draws upon and intervenes in the critical reception of social entrepreneurship. The chapter ends with an overview of the various chapters and the various critical perspectives and themes they draw on and address.

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Raymond Dart

This chapter discusses the chapters in this section on social entrepreneurship, political representation and myth-busting, which cast doubt on claims that there is an explosion in the number of social enterprises occurring, and that the non-profit sector is systematically replacing lost governmental revenue with new commercial sources. This chapter and the accompanying chapters together look toward the complex political and social contexts behind these widespread and inaccurate claims that encourage us to believe in some kind of Social Enterprise Revolution.

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Trish Ruebottom

This chapter takes a critical look at the economic, cultural and political dimensions of social entrepreneurship, and the ethical risks in each dimension. Processes of democratic deliberation are then proposed, using a discourse ethics approach to self-determination as a way to mitigate the inherent risks. Specifically, the chapter suggests three processes at the heart of Habermas’ discourse ethics: political and communicative education; reflexivity; and facilitation of the ideal speech situation. Both education and reflexivity are necessary pre-processes for creating an ideal speech situation. The ideal speech situation itself then requires understanding-focused dialogue that aims to achieve opinion- and will-formation, where there is engagement with the ‘other’ and room for dissent. Together, political and communicative education, reflexivity, and facilitation of the ideal speech situation will create a more open and expanded viewpoint, where the organization’s values are not assumed or imposed on those they seek to help, with an approach that emphasizes self-determination and participation as moral equals.

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Victor J. Friedman, Israel Sykes and Markus Strauch

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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Stefanie Mauksch

This chapter envisions a shift in critical attention to performative effects of social entrepreneurship. Following Judith Butler, it understands language – speaking about social entrepreneurship – and existence – being or becoming a social entrepreneur – as inextricably linked. In a Butlerian sense, social entrepreneurship is a regulatory ideal: a ritualistic, reiterative and citational practice by which discourse produces the effects that it names. By way of illustrating how performative practices in the social entrepreneurship field create emergent identities, the analysis engages with an ethnographic study of social business events as spaces in which a particular social entrepreneurial vision gains appeal as a realizable approach. Such performances constitute a mode of practice that simultaneously signifies and (bodily) enacts social entrepreneurial ideals, thus rendering obsolete the discourse/subject-distinction often assumed in scholarly criticism of social entrepreneurship.