Are Solidarity Purchasing Groups a Social Innovation? A Study Inspired by Social Forces


Abstract


The Social Forces theory was proposed by Beckert (2010) to study the interconnecting dynamic interrelations between institutions, networks and cognitive frames that underlie economic phenomena. In the context of this article, this theoretical perspective was applied to study Solidarity Purchasing Groups as a social innovation and to assess their capacity to create a new process of social inclusion for their suppliers. Despite being the most relevant alternative food networks in Italy, Solidarity Purchasing groups are only partially able to fulfil the promise of social innovation (by increasing the participation of beneficiaries and challenging pre-existing socio-economic dynamics) through the establishment of an alternative supply-chain alongside the one proposed by mass retailers. The results were obtained from an empirical investigation of 35 solidarity purchasing groups (2015/2016, nationally based), under the frame of the EU-funded CRESSI project.

Keywords: Social innovation; alternative food network; solidarity purchasing groups; cognitive frame; network, institution

References


Altreconomia (2015), Il libro dei GAS. Gruppi di acquisto solidali: come fare la spesa giusta, dalla “A” al KM Zero, Milano: edizioni Altreconomia.

Andretta M. and R. Guidi (2017), Political consumerism and producerism in times of crisis. A social movement perspective? PACO, 10(1): 246-274.

Arcidiacono D. (2008), “Dal consumismo al consumerismo. Un’indagine nella città di Catania”, Meridiana, 62: 177–205.

Arcidiacono D. 2013, Consumatori Attivi. Decisioni d’acquisto e partecipazione per una nuova etica economica. Franco Angeli, Milano.

Beckert J. (2010), “How Do Fields Change? The Interrelations of Institutions, Networks, and Cognition in the Dynamics of Markets”, Organization Studies, 31(5): 605–627.

Bentham J., A. Bowman, M. de la Cuesta M., E. Engelen, I. Ertürk, P. Folkman, J. Froud., S. Johal, J. Law, A. Leaver, M. Moran and K. Williams (2013), “Manifesto for the Foundational Economy”, CRESC Working Paper n° 131. Published online https://goo.gl/Z1IQLt, accessed 27 April 2017.

Chiappero-Martinetti E., N. von Jacobi, L. Maestripieri, R. Ziegler, M. van der Linden and C. van Beers (2017), Statistical Report. A deliverable of the project: “Creating Economic Space for Social Innovation” (CRESSI), European Commission – 7th Framework Programme, Brussels: European Commission, DG Research and Innovation. (forthcoming).

Cruz H., R. Martínez Moreno and I. Blanco (2017), “Crisis, urban segregation and social innovation in Catalonia.” PACO, 10(1): 221-245.

D’Alisa, G. D., F. Forno, and S. Maurano (2015), “Editorial: Grassroots (Economic) Activism in Times of Crisis: Mapping the Redundancy of Collective Actions”. Partecipazione e Conflitto, 8(2): 328–342.

Fonte M. (2013), “Food consumption as social practice: Solidarity Purchasing Groups in Rome, Italy”, Journal of Rural Studies, 32 (2013): 230-239.

Forno F., C. Grasseni and S. Signori (2013), “Oltre la spesa. I gruppi di acquisto solidale come laboratory di cittadinanza e palestre di democrazia”, Sociologia del Lavoro, 132(2013): 127-142.

Forno F. and P.R. Graziano (2014), “Sustainable community movement organisations”, Journal of Consumer Culture, 14(2): 139 – 157.

Forno F. and P.R Graziano (2016), Il consumo critico. Una relazione solidale tra chi acquista e chi produce. Bologna: Il Mulino.

Grasseni, C. (2014), Beyond alternative food networks. Italy’s solidarity purchasing groups. London: Bloomsbury.

Graziano P.R. and F. Forno (2012), “Political Consumerism and New Forms of Political Participation: the Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale in Italy”, ANNALS, AAPSS, 644(2012): 121-133.

Guadagnucci, L. (2007), Il nuovo mutualismo. Sobrietà, stili di vita ed esperienze di un’altra società. Milano: Feltrinelli.

Guidi, R. and M. Andretta (2015), “Between resistance and resilience: How do Italian solidarity purchase groups change in times of crisis and austerity?”, Partecipazione e Conflitto, 8(2): 443–477.

Von Jacobi N., E. Chiappero Martinetti, R. Giroletti, L. Maestripieri and F. Ceravolo (2015), Toolkit (Methodology). CRESSI Working Paper 16/2015. Accessed 28/3/2017 (https://goo.gl/N1zqRm).

Jenson J. (2012), ‘Social Innovation. Gadget, Concept or Mobilising Idea?’ Paper presented at RC19 Annual Conference, Oslo, Norway, August.

Von Jacobi, N, R. Ziegler and D. Edmiston 2017, ‘Tackling marginalisation through social innovation? Examining the EU social innovation policy agenda from a capabilities perspective’, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 18(2): pp. 148-162.

Maestripieri L. (2016), Part IV. Individual case study “Solidarity Purchasing Groups”, in T. Scheuerle, G-C. Schimpf, G. Glänzel, G. Mildenberger and R. Ziegler (eds.) Report on relevant actors in historic examples and an empirically driven typology on types of social innovation. CRESSI Working Paper 29/2016: 335-368. http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/research-projects/CRESSI/docs/CRESSI_Working_Paper_29_2016.pdf

Maestripieri L. (2018), ‘Creating alternative economic spaces. The socially innovative practices of solidarity purchasing groups’, in A. Nicholls and R. Ziegler (eds.), Creating (fair) economic space for social innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).

Micheletti M. (2003), Political Virtue and Shopping. Individuals, Consumerism and Collective Action. London: Palgrave.

Moulaert F., D. MacCallum, A. Mehmood and A. Hamdouch (2013), ‘General introduction: the return of social innovation as a scientific concept and a social practice’, in F. Moulaert, D. MacCallum, A. Mehmood and A. Hamdouch (eds), The International Handbook on Social Innovation. Collective action, social learning and transdisciplinary research. Cheltenham Glos: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Nicholls, A. and R. Ziegler (2018), ‘The extended social grid model’, in A. Nicholls and R. Ziegler (eds.), Creating (fair) economic space for social innovation. (forthcoming).

Oosterlynck S., Y. Kazepov, A. Novy, P. Cools, E. Barberis, F.

Wukovitsch, T. Sarius and B. Leubolt (2013), ‘The butterfly and the elephant: local social innovation, the welfare state and new poverty dynamics’. IMPROVE Working No. 13/03. Published online https://goo.gl/XeJvX7, accessed 25 August 2017.

Pol, E. and S. Ville, (2009), “Social Innovation: Buzz Word or Enduring Term?”, Journal of Socio-Economics, 38, i.: 878-885.

Rehfeld, D., J. Terstriep, J. Welschhoff and S. Alijani (2015), Report on Social Innovation Framework. Deliverable D1.1 of the project “Boosting the Impact of SI in Europe through Economic Underpinnings” (SIMPACT). Published online at https://goo.gl/cP2D89, accessed 25 August 2017.

Saroldi A. (2001), Gruppi di acquisto solidali. Guida al consume locale. Bologna: Editrice Missionaria Italiana.

Saroldi A. (2005), ‘Dieci anni (e più) di gas’, in L. Valera (ed.), GAS. Gruppi di Acquisto Solidali. Chi sono, come si organizzano e con quali sfide si confrontano i Gruppi di acquisto solidale in Italia. Napoli: Terre di Mezzo Editore.

Scarpellini E. (2008), L' Italia dei consumi. Dalla Belle époque al nuovo millennio. Bari: Laterza.

Stolle D., M. Hooghe and M. Micheletti (2005), “Politics in the Supermarket: Political Consumerism as a Form of Political Participation”, International Political Science Review/ Revue Internationale de Science Politique, 26(3): 245–269.

Tavolo per la Rete Italiana di Economia Solidale (2013), Il capitale delle Relazioni. Come creare e organizzare gruppi d’acquisto e altre reti di economia solidale, in cinquanta storie esemplari. Milano: edizioni Altreconomia.

Valera L. (2005), GAS. Gruppi di Acquisto Solidali. Chi sono, come si organizzano e con quali sfide si confrontano i Gruppi di acquisto solidale in Italia. Napoli: Terre di Mezzo Editore.

Ziegler R., G. Molnár, E. Chiappero-Martinetti and N. von Jacobi (2017), “Creating (Economic) Space for Social Innovation”. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 2829(March): 1–6.


Full Text: PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.