This article is written with a view to synthesis and in the hope of permanence. It is predicated on the premise that the notion of an “ownership society” is both so close and so important to us that we never have stepped back from it to view it as one whole. We have yet to theorize it and pursue it as one comprehensive public project. We have spoken more of “programs” than “societies,” leaving the ideal that animates the programs insufficiently articulated or elaborated. That ideal, in turn, by dint of both its being left implicit and its mythic resonance with who we like to think we are, often has prevented us from thinking-through the detailed and pragmatic requisites of ownership. And so it has resulted indirectly in some failures of some “programs” – and an undue pessimism, in the wake of failure, over what “society” can do to advance “ownership”.
Hockett, R. (2005). Whose ownership? Which society? (CSD Working Paper No. 05-28). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.