Research Handbook on Community Development
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Research Handbook on Community Development

Edited by Rhonda Phillips, Eric Trevan and Patsy Kraeger

This timely Research Handbook offers new ways in which to navigate the diverse terrain of community development research. Chapters unpack the foundations and history of community development research and also look to its future, exploring innovative frameworks for conceptualizing community development. Comprehensive and unequivocally progressive, this is key reading for social and public policy researchers in need of an understanding of the current trends in community development research, as well as practitioners and policymakers working on urban, rural and regional development.
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Chapter 6: Social economy, social capital, NGOs and community development: a gendered perspective

Dyana P. Mason


Theories of the social economy and social capital, and their relationship to community development, are distinct but overlapping frameworks that attempt to provide insights to community action. The role of nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in facilitating both the social economy and social capital has also been taken for granted in community development studies. Finally, gender is often absent from many discussions on social capital and the social economy, although women and the family have always been central to community life. This chapter seeks to integrate the literature on the social economy and social capital in the context of nonprofit-led community development programs, leveraging both traditional approaches and gendered perspectives offered by feminist theories. Leveraging a case illustration of a cross-national partnership between a US supported grass-roots cooperative in Laos, this chapter also provides a unique opportunity to study the intersection between normative views of social economy and social capital and more critical approaches to these constructs in practice.

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