A growing number of young creatives in the Millennial generation, in their twenties and thirties, are seeking social change and individual freedom by starting small enterprises producing and selling handmade goods. Their push for progress is taking place in the economic and not the political sphere. It is not a protest against global markets, but rather an opting for an alternative type of capitalism, what this paper calls community capitalism, which values economies based on small-scale enterprises in which accumulating wealth is balanced against other goals. Besides making a living, young crafters have three other motivations. First, they want the autonomy to design and produce objects that they see as meaningful and authentic. Second, they want to connect with others through the goods that they make and the process of crafting and selling them. They seek to embed themselves in a community of consumers, suppliers and other crafters. Finally, millennial makers want to create products that they view as ethical, goods that are environmentally responsible and domestically sourced. Some express a desire to change the way people shop by crafting quality products that reduce waste and discourage excessive consumption. For these young community capitalists, running their own businesses allows them the independence to achieve their other goals. They want to make a living, but not to generate wealth at the expense of their values.
Keywords: community capitalism, Millennials, craft, small enterprise, social capital
|School:||The American University of Paris (France)|
|Department:||Global Communications and Civil Society|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Community capitalism, Millennial Generation, Small enterprise, Social capital|
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