To love the new and learn from history. On “social” in rural development.

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To love the new and learn from history. On “social” in rural development.

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Publication BookChapter
Title To love the new and learn from history. On “social” in rural development.
Author(s) Westerdahl, Stig
Date 2014
Editor(s) Matsushima, Kakuya; Westlund, Hans; Kobayashi, Kiyoshi
English abstract
To insert the expression “social” for indicating something new and alternative has been one of many trends in rural development over the last 20 years. “Social Capital” is perhaps the first example. In Europe “Social Economy” became known as an alternative economic sphere. “Social Entrepreneurship” followed suit by linking grass-root movements to the field of Entrepreneurship and more lately “Social Innovation” has come in vogue. They share some common characteristics where one is the lack of a common or agreed-upon definition. Another is how these concepts, as well as the phenomena illustrating them, are introduced as something “new”. This is emphasised by another common trait: how social is connected to value-laden and established terms: capital, economy, entrepreneurship and innovation. These terms are emblematic for a capitalist society. Hence, it is hardly a coincidence that they are selected and widely used in discussions on rural development. The question raised in this paper is whether these “social”-terms and the phenomena they try to capture are “new”, or expressions of what sometimes is called neophilism - the assumption that something is more valuable because it is perceived as new. My historical approach serves two purposes: to better understand the phenomena in themselves in a longer historical perspective and further to see how the shorter history of social entrepreneurship and social economy have affected our perception of rural development.
Publisher MARG - Marginal Areas Research Group
Host/Issue Social Capital and Development Trends in Rural Areas Volume 9
ISBN 9784907830090
Pages 141-154
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Social Economy
Social Entrepreneurship
Ethics and Economics
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
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