The Social Fabric of Solidarity Economy Initiatives: On the Emerging Creative and Collective Action Devices

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 4:30 PM
Room: 413
Distributed Paper
Christian MAHIEU , LEM, CNRS, Lille, France
Solidarity economy initiatives are not obvious. They need specific contexts to emerge and develop themselves. We have to better understand conditions under them individual and collective processes of initiatives can emerge, be designed and implemented.

As Hans Joas formulates it, the sense of action builds itself at the heart of the very action. So, we need to consider solidarity economy initiatives as a social construct. This proposition questions and participates in current researches on social entrepreneurship. My point of view emphasizes on the social contexts and conditions of alternative entrepreneurship.

A second idea, continuing the first one, leads me toward two hypotheses. As a first hypothesis, I consider that solidarity economic initiatives find their dynamics within creativity of action develops by alternative collectives of actors and social entrepreneurial communities. We should better know these collectives in order to differentiate their actors at the same times social activists and entrepreneurs. My second hypothesis concerns acting devices which give its sense to collective actions and the processes of their design and implementation. These acting devices should be observed and analyzed in depth as far as they gather, promote, mutually develop and capitalize solidarity economy initiatives. Then these processes and constructing devices permit the social fabric of solidarity economic alternatives.

In order to develop and begin to validate these hypotheses, I shall present and discuss first results of a qualitative research focus on several collective action devices as developed by social actors in France. These alternative collectives and their acting and learning devices are developed at the very heart of co working spaces and other “third places” described by Oldenburg but also through collaborative web sites and their acting platforms.