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Social enterprise and dis/identification : The politics of identity work in the UK third sector

Simon Teasdale & Pascal Dey

abstract Of late, social enterprise has been criticised for discursively transforming third sector organisations and practitioners into economic agents. This paper argues that such a critique might overestimate the degree to which the discourse of social enterprise works as a deterministic force. Asserting that discourse, rather than being imposed on the third sector, implies subjects who affirm its power, we suggest that discursive conceptualisations of ‘social enterprise’ are incomplete without empirical studies focusing on how discourse infiltrates the third sector at the level of the subject. Drawing from a qualitative study in the UK, we use Pêcheux’s work on dis/identification to illustrate different ways in which third sector practitioners endorse or reject the discursive invocation. Discussing how processes of identification, counter-identification or disidentification perpetuate or transgress respectively the discourse of social enterprise, we conclude by highlighting important issues which might to be dealt with through prospective research.
   
type conference paper (English)
   
keywords
   
name of conference ARNOVA 41st Annual Conference 2012 (Indianapolis)
date of conference 15-11-2012
title of proceedings Re-examining Philanthropy: Exploring Root Concepts for our Field(s)
page(s) 1-32
publisher x
review internal review
   
citation Teasdale, S., & Dey, P. (2012). Social enterprise and dis/identification: The politics of identity work in the UK third sector. In Re-examining Philanthropy: Exploring Root Concepts for our Field(s), pp.1-32: x.