Professionalism, Variety and Knowledge Production in the Social Economy


  • Peter Hall Simon Fraser University Urban Studies Program SFU at Harbour Centre 515 W Hasting Street Vancouver BC, V6B 5K3 CANADA



Social enterprise, Social economy, Professionalism, Variety, Knowledge production / Entreprise sociale, Économie sociale, Professionnalisme, Variété, Production du savoir


This keynote address explores the interplay between three forces that will shape the next few years of social economy practice and research. The first is variety, both with respect to existing and emergent social need, and with respect to the multiplicity of organizational forms adopted by social economy actors. The second concerns the forms of knowledge, ranging from instrumental knowledge to reflection and critique, which inform practices in the sector. Knowledge production is itself both enabled and constrained by the third force, professionalism, or the ways we structure the socialization and employment of those working in the sector. With variation an inherent characteristic of the social economy and with the ongoing search for appropriate models of professionalism, our collective knowledge production tasks remain unfinished.

Ce discours principal explore les interactions entre trois forces qui vont façonner la pratique et la recherche en économie sociale au cours des prochaines années. La première est la variété, tant par rapport aux besoins sociaux actuels et naissants qu’à la multiplicité de formes organisationnelles adoptées par les acteurs de l’économie sociale. La seconde concerne les types de savoir informant les pratiques dans le secteur, du savoir instrumental jusqu’à la réflexion et la critique. La troisième force, le professionnalisme ou la manière dont on organise le recrutement et la socialisation de ceux et celles qui oeuvrent dans le secteur, permet la production du savoir tout en y imposant certaines contraintes. La variation étant une caractéristique intrinsèque de l’économie sociale, et la quête de modèles de professionnalisme appropriés se perpétuant, il est clair que nos tâches collectives de production du savoir demeurent inachevées.


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