Pascal Dey and Laurent Marti
Social entrepreneurship is commonly touted as holding the promise of transcending the ills of capitalism. This debate, albeit important, lacks theoretical depth and critical grounding. To address this situation, this chapter draws on Henri Lefebvre’s work on capitalism, rhythms and everyday life to develop a conceptual vocabulary attentive to the shifting and contested relationship between social entrepreneurship and the circuits of capitalist accumulation. Based on a theoretical reading of extant literature on micro-finance, particularly research dealing with female micro-credit recipients, the chapter aims to demonstrate the fecundity of Lefebvre’s work for grasping, on the one hand, how social entrepreneurship is aligned with the rhythmic unfolding of capitalist accumulation and, on the other, how the accumulation process is pierced by moments of excess and breakthrough.
Pascal Dey and Dörte Resch
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.
Pascal Dey and Chris Steyaert
In this chapter we make two contributions. The first consists of distinguishing three understandings of myth – myth as false explanation, myth as ideology, and myth as dialectic potential – which open up different, and partly complementary, possibilities for demystifying social entrepreneurship. To substantiate these theoretical distinctions, we review how these practices of demystification have been applied in the (critical) literature on social entrepreneurship. Our second objective is to stimulate the conceptual expansion of the third and least developed strategy of demystification, which we call ‘demystification from below’. To do so, we offer an empirical illustration to expound its workings. To conclude, we argue that the imperative of constant re-invention is due to the ever-present possibility that demystification becomes neutralized to the point where it becomes a mere cliché of its initial promise.