Two new publications to start the year.
From Yannis Pechtelidis:
Pechtelidis, Y. (2016) ‘Youth Heterotopias in Precarious Times. The Students Autonomous Collectivity’, Young, 24 (1) 1-16.
Abstract: Social entrepreneurship has been promoted as a way to create community development. However, social entrepreneurship is a contested field of research. Critics tend to stress that social entrepreneurship is merely a crystallization of market-oriented neoliberal agendas, whereas proponents emphasize aspects such as solidarity and a new economy that is fundamentally different from capitalist market economy. This study takes up these discussions by relating them to how social entrepreneurship is enacted in practice. The study was conducted as ethnographic fieldwork in a Danish voluntary organization involved in social work and work integration and focuses on how dilemmas regarding social and economic goals are handled in the everyday practice. The findings of the study show that, rather than representing either a market-oriented or a solidarity-oriented approach in pure form, the organization demonstrates co-existence of both paradigms of solidarity and neoliberalism. It is argued that precisely this interplay between the paradigms might be a distinguishing feature of social entrepreneurship that could be understood in terms of Foucault’s notion of heterotopia as an ‘other space’. This feature of social entrepreneurship holds both potentials as well as challenges when creating new types of community development.
From Silla Marie Mørch Sievers:
Sievers, S. M. M. (2016) ‘Fragile heterotopias – a case study of a Danish social enterprise’ Community Development Journal 51 (1):77-94.
Abstract: Under the structural restraints of the current financial, social, and political crisis, I examine the case of a collectivity of students at the University of Thessaly in Greece as an alternative small-scale form of political and cultural action. Ι view such initiative as a force that potentially destabilizes the binaries of conventional political thought and I also explore its dynamics and limits. What needs to be emphasised in this form of political activism, is the meaning of the momentum, ‘here’ and ‘now’. I claim that the ‘Collectivity’ is a form of heterotopia that is a specific social and cultural space, which somehow reflects and at the same time distorts, unsettles or inverts other spaces. In particular, I seek to uncover the rituals, practices and mentalities produced by the participants of this youth cultural space, and to understand how new subjectivities and collectivities come into being. In this context, I discuss some of the relevant literature on the the youth political participation. Furthermore, I illustrate the debate about ‘autonomy’ and ‘hegemony’ within social and political theory today.
28 January 2016