An Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship

An Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship

Voices, Preconditions, Contexts

Edited by Rafeal Ziegler

This timely book sets social entrepreneurship in a historical context, from its philanthropic beginnings in the Victorian era to the present day, against the backdrop of contemporary global capitalism.

Chapter 11: Entrepreneurship, Sociality and Art: Re-imagining the Public

Daniel Hjorth

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, development studies, development studies, social entrepreneurship, politics and public policy, social entrepreneurship, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, social policy in emerging countries


Daniel Hjorth That for [Adam] Smith capitalism is only one of the forms of all men’s activity to improve their condition means also that capitalism is only legitimate if it increases productivity for the benefit of all. (Meuret, 1993: 67–8) 11.1 INTRODUCTION Maybe we have lost the social. At least we have lost sight of the social. Protesters in the streets of Paris in the autumn of 2007 provided an emblematic example of this analysis, carrying placards with the wordings: ‘Sarkozy détruit le social’. In slight modification of this perspective, I believe it is rather the ‘public sphere’ that is at stake. We urgently need new ideas and tactics for imagining what the public should be today, and for exploring how we can act as citizens in order to enhance individuals’ quality of life. My ambition is to contribute to this by elaborating on what I will call a public form of entrepreneurship which can create a new form of sociality in the public realm. The purpose pursued by such a development is to re-establish the social as a force different from the economic rather than encompassed by it. Its basis is a revised understanding of entrepreneurship (Hjorth, 2003). Entrepreneurship is then re-conceptualized as a socialitycreating force, belonging to society and not primarily to business. I also make use of an analysis of entrepreneurship as distinct from management, the latter being focused on efficient stewardship of existing resources and social control, while the former is...

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