Social Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 10, 2011 - Psychology
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Social Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice is about the creative ways in which social entrepreneurs solve pressing and insurmountable social problems. Theories of social change are presented to help demystify the 'magic' of making an immense, yet durable and irreversible, social impact. Utilizing case studies drawn from various fields and all over the world, the authors document how social entrepreneurs foster bottom-up change that empowers people and societies. They also review the specific personality traits of social entrepreneurs and introduce the new kind of leadership they represent. This book will be valuable to undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students, while remaining accessible to non-academic readers thanks to its clear language, illustrative case studies and guidelines on how to become a successful social entrepreneur.

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Social Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice contains so much information packed into small nuggets (they might as well be gold or even platinum) that you enjoyably wind up re-reading almost every paragraph to get the full implications of what Ryszard Praskzwier is telling you. Ryszard is a sociologist and researcher at the University of Warsaw and has been actively engaged in the study of SOCIAL CHANGE since the 80s, when he was actively and covertly engaged in the Polish Solidarity movement. Since the Wall came down, Ryszard has been a leader in spreading social entrepreneurship throughout the whole of what was formerly the USSR. But his fundamental focus has always been on understanding the very nature and theory of SOCIAL CHANGE. This book is not for hacks who just want some watered down "Starbucks" [not to disparage Starbucks by any means because they are genuinely socially conscious] version of what social entrepreneurship is about. SOCIAL ENTREPRENURSHIP: THEORY AND PRACTICE is for the authentic students who really to understand the mechanisms and models and world of social change (be it activist or entrepreneurial). Ryszard's presentation is very coherent (if anything it is too tight - it really makes you think). His models are open; he does not advocate one model over another (he says here is one model of social change and here is an example of a social entrepreneur who used this model and made HUGE change often on a global scale). He explores social capital (how many people even understand what that is?), the nature of social networking, and he even tackles tough topics head-on like the insurmountable, "insoluble" problems ["nothing is impossible"] from a unique and fresh perspective. Perhaps his unique vantage point comes from having seen his own country and society undergo the transition from communism to a form of democracy, and from his first-hand work with those most hurt and most affected by this change coupled with his research and teaching. Whatever. The simple fact-of-the-matter is that if you are serious about wanting to understand SOCIAL CHANGE and if you want to get a really solid grasp of the theoretical as well as practical side of the science of the sociology of SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP, this book is an absolute must read! It represents a whole new paradigm shift, one that has been building for a while, but which has never heretofore been expressed so succinctly, so carefully, so well annotated, and sourced. This book is the real thing. I absolutely highly recommend Praszkier's SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: THEORY AND PRACTICE to anyone who really wants to champion changing the world for the good of all, and who really wants to understand the diverse theory and models for what really transpires with social change, how to best facilitate it, the advantages and disadvantages of different social networking structures, and also amply illustrated with truly amazing stories of people who have successfully employed these concepts (whether they could state them as well as Ryszard does or not). If social entrepreneurship is your bag, buy this book (and read it) (and then read it again)! 


section i Social Entrepreneurship
An Overview
2 Dimensions of Social Entrepreneurship
3 Identifying Social Entrepreneurs in Practice
section 2 The Dynamics of Social Change
4 SocialChange Theories and Dilemmas
5 Equilibrium and Complexity
6 Theory of Social Emergence
section 4 A New Kind of Leadership
A Dynamical Account
11 A New Kind of Leadership
12 Addressing Insurmountable Problems and Conflicts
epilogue The Past and the Future
appendix 1 Becoming a Social Entrepreneur
appendix 2 The Process of Assessing Candidates for a Fellowship

section 3 Social Capital Built by Social Entrepreneurs
7 Social Capital
Bedrock of Social Capital
9 Personality Traits That Facilitate the Building of Social Capital
appendix 3 Excerpts from Interviews

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About the author (2011)

Ryszard Praszkier, Ph.D., is a researcher at the University of Warsaw Complex Systems Research Center. His main field of interest involves the mechanisms of profound peaceful transitions, including social-change processes facilitated by social entrepreneurs, with a special focus on the role and properties of social networks supporting durable social change. Dr Praszkier has authored several academic publications regarding how social entrepreneurs find innovative ways to approach intractable conflicts. For more than 15 years, he has worked for Ashoka, Innovators for the Public, an international association that promotes social entrepreneurship in more than 70 countries.

Andrzej Nowak, Ph.D., is a professor and lecturer at the Florida Atlantic University, University of Warsaw (where he is the co-founder of the Institute for Social Studies and a founding director of the Complex Systems Research Center), Columbia University in New York and the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities (where he is the co-founder of the Institute of Social Psychology of Internet and Communication). Dr Nowak has written and contributed to a number of foundational theoretical books, monographs and articles in the fields of social psychology, dynamical social impact, social networks and dynamics of societal transition.

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