Social Entrepreneurship
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Social Entrepreneurship

To Act as if and Make a Difference

Björn Bjerke and Mathias Karlsson

This informative book examines some social entrepreneurs in practice in several countries whilst concentrating on entrepreneurs in the third sector. The authors call them citizen entrepreneurs. Such people are not only becoming more common but also more necessary in the world of today.
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Chapter 9: Some theoretical reflections

To Act as if and Make a Difference

Björn Bjerke and Mathias Karlsson


Some theories that we have found useful in our work are: The concept couple space and place. Theories for how a researcher tries to understand entrepreneurship as opposed to explain it. Dialogues as a research method compared with interviews. Let us look at these groups one at a time. The concepts of ‘space’ (Raum in German; espace in French) and ‘place’ (Ort in German; lieu in French) are basic components of the lived world and we take them for granted. We notice the absence of space when we are pressured and the absence of place when we are lost (Tuan, 1977). And because we take them for granted, we normally deem them not worthy of separate treatment. Also taken for granted is the fact that we are ‘put in a situation’ in space and place to begin with, that space and place existed a priori of our existence on earth. Just because we say that we cannot choose in this matter, we believe we do not have to think about such basic facticity to start with (Casey, 1997). However, when we think about the two concepts, they may assume unexpected meanings and raise questions we have not thought to ask (Tuan, 1977). In fact, space as well as place can be very complicated concepts, which is all the more confusing because, at first glance, they appear so obvious and common sense. After all, it is impossible to think of the world without the two (Cresswell, 2004, p. 124).

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