Towards a geographical research agenda for social enterprise

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Abstract:

It has been recognised that there is potential for the study of social enterprise to engage to a greater degree with the social science disciplines. This paper demonstrates that some of the research gaps relating to social enterprise and socially enterprising behaviour within the UK could be tackled within a geographical research agenda for social enterprise that recognises the place-based aspects of such activity. There is scope for a greater focus on the relationship between socially enterprising behaviour and the spaces of social enterprise within current discourses on the ‘sustainable’ city and ‘cohesive’ communities in particular. There is a need to investigate in more detail the role of social enterprise in tackling social exclusion and the creation of spaces of empowerment for marginalised and excluded groups. This paper puts forward the case for a research agenda for social enterprise that draws on the discipline of geography but also suggests ways in which geographers can bring their spatial lens to the development of interdisciplinary work on social enterprise. Through literature review the paper highlights knowledge gaps that geographers would be well-placed to fill and draws out some key avenues for future research that could be tackled within a redefined research agenda for social enterprise.

Keywords: research agenda; social enterprise; third sector

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2009.00926.x

Affiliations: UHI Millennium Institute, Centre for Rural Health, The Centre for Health Science, Inverness IV2 3JH, Email: sarah-anne.munoz@uhi.ac.uk

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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