||Based on the insight from Fukuyama’s notion of trust, the main philosophy of the study is: How is it possible for societies characterized by traditional paradox of familism to move beyond the limited radius of trust (in-group collectivism) and reach to the wider and greater social trust (institutional collectivism)? |
With family as a starting point, the study is based on three theoretical traditions: social capital theory, third sector research and social entrepreneurship studies. Drawing on two case studies in the specific area of social care services in Taiwan and Germany, research questions are addressed as: How does family-driven social entrepreneurship have emerged and developed in two different societies? If any, what is the main difference between the developments of two cases? And how this difference can be explained through social capital theory?
Following social emergence paradigm, three foci of analysis, namely social context, collective actors, and emergence process are discussed. Furthermore, three analytical tools for family-driven social entrepreneurship are developed, that is, four-sector-division framework (based on the concept of welfare mix), entrepreneurial system (based on Bruyat and Julien), and domestic versus civic orders of worth (based on Boltanski and Thevenot).
The findings suggest that with family as a starting point, social entrepreneurship is grounded, emerges and evolves in the distinctive social contexts. For the case of Taiwan, with the role of self-help group, family-driven social entreprenurship might provide the potential for social transformation from family tie to beyond family, creating a new organization in the third sector.
In contrast, for the case of Germany, social entrepreneurship development presents as from family-driven social entrepreneurship to community development. With multi-level associations and the functional coordination among the public administrations, third sector organizations and families as well as the surrounding communities, family-driven social entrepreneurship may reach at the institutional level. By integrating to and coordinating in the coherent interaction between formal institutions and informal cultures, the development of the German case can be related to institutional collectivism.
Based on the implications, a contextual Framework for family-driven social entrepreneurship is proposed, namely Family, beyond family, and institution: Developing family-driven social entrepreneurship in Context.
From my perspective, social entrepreneurship not only aims to make the isolates re-integrate into society, but also, with macro vision, to make institutions change for society. The direction of institutional change, echoing Fukuyama, is toward the development of an inclusive and vital society through social capital and trust, that is, not only cultivating personal and particularistic trust but also enriching generalized and institutionalized trust in society. With those aims, social entrepreneurship is context-sensitive. Both ends and means of social entrepreneurship are embedded in social context.
As a concluding thought, I stress that social entrepreneurship is contextual. With family as a starting point, social entrepreneurship is grounded, emerges, and evolves in distinctive contexts in different societies. Furthermore, in line with Fukuyama, but going further, it is possible for the societies traditionally characterized by the paradox of familism to move toward more inclusive and higher trust through social entrepreneurship. In its essence, social entrepreneurship reveals the ethic of economic life in modern society, that is, not only to accumulate material wealth, but rather to enrich trust for the wider-society as wide a society as possible.