Contemporary Western societies seem to be marked by a revival of ethics: virtually every actor claims to be doing something ‘good’, or even to be willing to ‘change the world’. Social innovation, sharing economy and ethical business are just few of the tags attached to this manifold cultural trend, which is indicative of the attempt to reintegrate ethical responsibility with economic conduct. But how can entrepreneurship be redefined as the best way to express one’s will to change society? How can people decide to actualise their desire to change how things are by means of a business? Social Entrepreneurship and Neoliberalism: Making Money While Doing Good tackles these questions, offering a critical yet empathetic account of the lifeworld of young social entrepreneurs in London and Milan.
- Introduction: late neoliberalism and the revival of ethics
- What are we talking about when we talk about social entrepreneurship?
- The ontological ambiguity of the enterprise
- The lifeworld of social entrepreneurs: precarity and passion in the “creative city”
- Changing the world? A private matter
- Experience and effectiveness: a (post)political ideology
- Conclusion: calling for a radical politics of social entrepreneurship
Carolina Bandinelli is Assistant Professor in Media and Creative Industries at the Centre for Cultural & Media Policy Studies, University of Warwick.
Prepare to be surprised, intellectually inspired and entertained, all at the same time. Bandinelli's highly original book represents a landmark in the studies of the social enterprise by offering a timely analysis of the under-examined practices and subjectivities of young social entrepreneurs, who believe that they can "change the world" precisely by embracing entrepreneurialism. Bandinelli places the figure of the social entrepreneur firmly at the centre of contemporary neoliberal capitalism's contradictions, thus shedding compelling light on the complex and even troubling ethical and political circumstances we all live in.
This is an important and marvellously original work. Bandinelli is an outstanding ethnographer and writer, she also tackles questions here which are at the forefront of the modern work society. Drawing on sociology and cultural studies this book makes a crucial contribution to our understanding of social entrepreneurship.