Intermediary Organisations and the Hegemonisation of Social Entrepreneurship: Fantasmatic Articulations, Constitutive Quiescences, and Moments of Indeterminacy

Pascal Dey, Hanna Schneider, Florentine Maier

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung

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The rapid rise of alternative organisations such as social enterprises is largely due to the promotional activities of intermediary organisations. So far, little is known about the affective nature of such activities. The present article thus investigates how intermediary organisations make social entrepreneurship palatable for a broader audience by establishing it as an object of desire. Drawing on affect-oriented extensions of Laclau and Mouffe’s poststructuralist theory, hegemonisation is suggested as a way of understanding how social entrepreneurship is articulated through a complementary process of signification and affective investment. Specifically, by examining Austrian intermediaries, we show how social entrepreneurship is endowed with a sense of affective thrust that is based on three interlocking dynamics: the articulation of fantasies such as ‘inclusive exclusiveness’, ‘large-scale social change’ and ‘pragmatic solutions’; the repression of anxiety-provoking and contentious issues (constitutive quiescences); as well as the use of conceptually vague, floating signifiers (moments of indeterminacy). Demonstrating that the hegemonisation of social entrepreneurship involves articulating certain issues whilst, at the same time, omitting others, or rendering them elusive, the article invites a counter-hegemonic critique of social entrepreneurship, and, on a more general level, of alternative forms of organising, that embraces affect as a driving force of change, while simultaneously affirming the impossibility of harmony and wholeness.
Seiten (von - bis)1451 - 1472
FachzeitschriftOrganization Studies
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2016