An Affirmative Critique
Edited by Pascal Dey and Chris Steyaert
Chapter 16: New framings and practices of critical research
This commentary reflects on the two chapters in the section on ‘social entrepreneurship, relationality and the possible’. The chapters push at our understandings of social entrepreneurship. They start by taking a relational view of the world, exploring the importance of the relationships between people, and between people and ‘things’. In so doing they provide insights into social entrepreneurship as a social change practice not so much for finding accommodations in what is already present but for shifting the frame of what is thinkable and doable. They also document strategies for social change while also recognizing that social change is an unpredictable and uneven process that involves responding to the unexpected. Finally, the chapters invite reflection on the contribution of social research to the social change process by demonstrating how social research can be oriented towards ushering in the new, an orientation that is captured in the notion of research as a performative practice. This commentary takes up these themes of relationality, social change and research orientation.
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