Navigating Local and Global Embeddedness to Enable Economic Inclusion



Enabling economic inclusion often depends on connecting the needs of local communities with resources, knowledge, and opportunities in global communities—but local and global communities often diverge in their values, practices, and interests. Our longitudinal, ethnographic study explores how organizations that seek to enable economic inclusion navigate these divergences to harness global resources and tackle local problems. Focusing on an organization working in an economically depressed city in the northeastern United States, we find iterative cycles of organizational embeddedness and approaches to enabling economic inclusion over time: members’ active work along structural, cultural, and material dimensions fostered distinct forms of embeddedness in local and global communities, and their experiences of embeddedness in turn shaped the organization’s approach to reconfiguring economic infrastructure and redistributing social and cultural capital. These dynamics created both excitement and frustration that together fueled subsequent cycles of structural, cultural, and material work. The model we develop based on these findings contributes a processual and dynamic understanding of embeddedness, surfaces materiality as a critical dimension underlying embeddedness, and unpacks a “dirty hands” approach to enabling economic inclusion that involves emplaced and embodied efforts to create possibilities for actors with limited resources.

We cordially invite you to attend this upcoming seminar, which is scheduled to take place in room T10-67 (Mandeville Building). For those who prefer to attend virtually, we kindly request that you use the Zoom link provided below.

Meeting ID: 953 6864 3591

Passcode: 072375