Neighbourhoods, Households and Homes
Edited by Colin Mason, Darja Reuschke, Stephen Syrett and Maarten van Ham
Chapter 6: Enterprising mothers in residential neighbourhoods: the role of local social capital
Mothers who run small, home-based businesses around their child care routines are the empirical subjects of this chapter. These businesses are located within the wider geographic sphere of the residential neighbourhood, which in comparison to wider scales is under-researched in studies of entrepreneurship. Indeed these largely domestic spaces and the micro-businesses that they often contain are commonly considered insignificant in economic terms. This chapter argues that ignoring such activities risks blindness to a key factor in the well-being and livelihoods of individuals and families. It examines the role of neighbourhood, especially neighbourhood social capital, in home-based businesses. The social networks and social capital that ensue, as a variable characteristic of neighbourhoods, and a potentially key aspect of home-based business, are the focus of this chapter. Concentrating on entrepreneurs with limited daily mobilities (mothers of young children), this chapter questions what role neighbourhoods might play in providing local social capital that can enrich business. Empirical research presented in this chapter shows that, in daily life, home-based mothers take part in neighbourhood ‘space–time ballets’, negotiating space, schedule and duties. Neighbourhoods contain moving constellations of individuals whose daily activities result in repetitive temporary coalitions of individuals in specific places (e.g. primary schools, community halls, parks, playgrounds).
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