The Social Economy of the Community - A developmental task for social policy

Susanne Elsen

Abstract

Community work and development - Now, that market economy is no longer faced with territorial boundaries, the spheres of life within the limits of local communities are gaining new importance in terms of sustained patterns of development.

This extended meaning of local community as a place for mastering the challenges of life and as a framework for developing future-oriented solutions to social, ecological and economic problems, corresponds to the extended meaning of community-based social work as an effort to shape social life and generate social change.

Community-economy follows the original sense of human economy, defined by Aristotle. It is the idea of the “oikos”, an economy for the satisfaction of needs of the “whole house” - of the young and the old, the healthy and sick, of the living and future generations and the not-human world. In this sense “oikonomia” means household management.


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