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Enterprise as socially situated in a rural poor fishing community.

Anderson, Alistair R.; Obeng, Bernard A.


Alistair R. Anderson

Bernard A. Obeng


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 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.


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:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 15, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 24, 2016
Publication Date Jan 30, 2017
Deposit Date Nov 25, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 25, 2018
Journal Journal of rural studies
Print ISSN 0743-0167
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 49
Pages 23-31
Keywords Rural; Culture; Poverty; Enterprise; Ghana; African entrepreneurship; Socialised entrepreneurship; Place
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