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The Big Society, values and co-operation


  • Fiona Wilson
  • Donald MacLean


In a context of government promotion of co-operatives, a growth in the co-operative economy, and in times when use of the term ‘co-operative’ appears to have broadened to include any form of employee ownership, this article sets out a research agenda for exploring producer co-operatives, focusing on what co-operation means to those who work in them. Based on exploratory research in three producer co-operatives, the article argues that the values and principles are being used so liberally that co-operatives have a very wide appeal, making co-operation attractive to a wide spectrum of political ideals and values – perhaps surprisingly, those associated with individualism alongside those of co-operation.

Suggested Citation

  • Fiona Wilson & Donald MacLean, 2012. "The Big Society, values and co-operation," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 26(3), pages 531-541, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:woemps:v:26:y:2012:i:3:p:531-541

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