Social Entrepreneurship
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Social Entrepreneurship

An Affirmative Critique

Edited by Pascal Dey and Chris Steyaert

Pascal Dey and Chris Steyaert provide a timely critique on the idea of social entrepreneurship and its reputation as a means for positive social change. The book uses different traditions and modes of critique to interrogate, disrupt and reimagine the concept of social entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 10: Social entrepreneurship: performative enactments of compassion

Karin Berglund


Social entrepreneurs respond emotionally to people who are suffering, and wish to alleviate their suffering through their entrepreneurial endeavours. In this comment Berglund has paid attention to how compassion is not only ornamental to stories of social entrepreneurship, but also presented as the very incentive for action for social change, a way to recruit people to engage in social entrepreneurship and something that is problematized as ‘lacking’ when processes of social change falter. In addition, compassion insinuates itself in mundane interactions where it is linked to dilemmas and troublesome situations. Thus, compassion has an effect on people, and is also an effective means for social entrepreneurship discourses to prosper and multiply. One side of this tale describes how social entrepreneurship multiplies through its efforts to alleviate suffering for the other. The other tale shows how we are governed through compassion via the expansion of social entrepreneurship discourses, which is today requested by neoliberal government.

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