Enterprise as socially situated in a rural poor fishing community.
Anderson, Alistair R.
Obeng, Bernard A.
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ANDERSON, A. and OBENG, B. A. 2016. Enterprise as socially situated in a rural poor fishing community. Journal of rural studies [online], 49, pages 23-31. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2016.11.015
We examine enterprise processes in a poor rural fishing village in Ghana, having become interested in why poverty persists in spite of considerable industry. Our case study uses the village as the unit for analysis because it offered a conceptually interesting place that is relatively economically, socially and spatially isolated. Most entrepreneurship theory failed to explain our observations about the absence of development. Accordingly, our socialised perspective looked at the social and spatial processes that configured enterprise. Our study, over ten years, allowed us to recognise that fishing and the associated processing and sales had developed as socially organised to enable a livelihood for many, rather than entrepreneurial benefits for a few. The socially situated nature of rural enterprise in Ocansey Kope is 'mutual' and interdependent, and not individualistic in the western sense. Enterprise is individually enacted; but how business is conducted is hedged by social obligations, responsibilities and entitlements. The apparently economic 'systems' of production, the buying and selling, lending and borrowing within the village can also be understood, and better explained, as social processes.