After the Asian Financial Crisis, the government of Hong Kong embraced the model of work-integration social enterprise (WISE) to sustain its facilitative and productivist welfare regime. Using the WISE of Pro-Love for marginalized women as a case study, the article examines the meaning of employment and social disadvantage in the organization. The ethnographic data reveal that while the WISE encourages women to participate in the paid labor market, it constructs employment in the social enterprise as part-time jobs for supplementary family income, restricts the extension of social networks for the female workers, and reinforces the cultural stereotypes of marginalized women. The study reflects on the mechanisms of the project of WISE in the welfare contexts of Hong Kong, and argues that programs targeted at labor participation cannot be automatically translated into reduction of exclusion in other domains. Long-term planning, policy coordination, and social advocacy are necessary to achieve social integration.
VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 13, 2017
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