Notes on Social Production


Tatjana Schneider

Pub social production

"In recent times, particularly since the economic crisis in 2008/9, the notion of social production has gained much prominence, and was proposed by the Palo Alto-based Institute for the Future, an independent non-profit research group, as one of the key themes over the next ten years. Social production, the Institute proclaims, is beginning to define a form of production that ‘draws on contributions from large networks of people, enabled by social technologies, to create new kinds of wealth’ (Davies, 2011). It is argued that things that are socially produced are not only made by many, but also benefit many. In doing so, it sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly, challenges unequal distributions of power and often sits in opposition to hierarchical forms of organisations or capitalist forms of production."

The text, which is part of an edited volume that brings the debates of the 'right to the city' into today's context of ecological, economic and social crises, argues that it is easy to romanticize the terms 'social' and 'social production' and that current debates need to take into account not only how one produces but also how the resulting products - things, buildings or spaces - are then distributed and consumed.

Published by

Routledge, 2017