Juxtaposition, encounter and drift: transformative social innovation through culture and the arts

Dr. Aviv Kruglanski

This paper aims to tentatively explore the benefits of placing art’s knowledge-building tradition, with its capacity to disrupt and reframe, at the centre of how we look at alternative organizing and alternative economic spaces, positioning lived experience, its uncertainties intact, at the heart of researching and practicing social enterprise (SE). The paper explores indeterminacy through two case-study narratives, one of an academic arts-based research project and the other of a unique organization it encountered. It describes the way juxtaposition, encounter and drift value indeterminacy as central to generative processes, challenging the control central tomanagement and its research. It proposes that adopting an arts-based approach that challenges control can create a research instrument sensitive to similar tendencies in case studies, thus highlighting what is different and alternative about them. This responds to concerns about the diminishing centrality of SE’s democratizing ethic expressed in its scholarship, about creativity in its research and about its socially transformative potential. The practice, by SEs of an approach welcoming chance, encounter, meandering
paths and place-making with porous boundaries, proliferates transformative possibilities and is linked to democratization and participation. Though dangerously challenging to accepted notions of academic rigour, this paper proposes an unusual thought experiment tied in with lived experiences, in themselves experimental in practice.

Suggested citation

Kruglanski, Aviv. "Juxtaposition, encounter and drift: transformative social innovation through culture and the arts." Social Enterprise Journal (2023).