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Social innovations: highly reflexive and multi-referential phenomena of today's innovation society? A report on analytical concepts and social science initiative

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Schubert, Cornelius

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Corporate Editor Technische Universität Berlin, Fak. VI Planen, Bauen, Umwelt, Institut für Soziologie Fachgebiet Techniksoziologie
Abstract This report provides an overview on the growing topic of social innovations. It summarises the main arguments and traces their discussion in the social sciences. In a first step, the paper focuses on the conceptual distinctions between social and technical innovations on the one hand, and between social innovation and social change on the other. From this point of departure, the second and central part of the paper addresses questions concerning the reflexive nature of social innovations as well as the referential structures used for evaluating social innovations in contemporary ‘innovation societies’. Based on this framework, the third and last part of the paper provides a brief overview of current social innovation initiatives and institutions at the EU level. The aim is to situate the concept of social innovations in a broader discussion of social and technical change, reflexive modernisation and emerging innovation societies today.
Keywords innovation; society; technical development; social change; innovation research; reflexive modernization; pragmatism; evaluation; EU; EU policy
Classification General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories; Sociology of Science, Sociology of Technology, Research on Science and Technology
Free Keywords social innovation; innovation society; practice theory
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
City Berlin
Page/Pages 43 p.
Series TUTS - Working Papers, 2-2014
Status Primary Publication; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works