Towards an “Embedment” approach to Social Entrepreneurship: Insights on class, “movementality” and resource mobilization from Tamera ecovillage, Portugal

EMES Conferences Selected Papers Series, ECSP-P16-20

This article is part of a case study-based project analyzing the contextual factors and processes that prevent the development of decommodified realms of production and exchange from being co-opted by the dynamics of reproduction of capitalism.

Tamera, an ecovillage founded in 1995 in the municipality of Odemira, southwestern Alentejo, Portugal, has the goal of becoming a replicable model for sustainable post-capitalist human settlements. In a pamphlet produced for visitors in the summer of 2015, Tamera describes itself as practicing solidarity economy.

The basis for such claim is that, since its foundation in 1995, it has been gradually building a decommodified realm of economic activity, based on community building, the reconstruction of the commons and the weaving of sustainable synergies between humans and nature.

This article questions Tamera’s self-identification as a solidarity economy initiative. It argues that it represents instead an example of what I hereby define as the “embedment’” approach to social entrepreneurship, in which human-nature synergies and social and cultural capital are central assets in the development of a strategy of social and economic sustainability.

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