Society as Service/Service as Society

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  • Title: Society as Service/Service as Society : A Bordieuan Presence through Voices of Alice Springs
  • Author(s): Richard Head
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: New Directions in the Humanities
  • Keywords: Service, Society, Bourdieu, Alice Springs, Voices, Symbiotic
  • Date: November 30, 2020
  • ISBN (hbk): 978-0-949313-00-3
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-86335-222-2
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-86335-223-9
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Head, Richard . 2020. Society as Service/Service as Society : A Bordieuan Presence through Voices of Alice Springs . Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-86335-223-9/CGP.
  • Extent: 256 pages

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When thinking about the term ‘service’ as the raison d'être for the book, the initial rationale assumed a simplistic definition of it as offering facility nodes within a network of places in the space of a settlement. However, initially recognising and defining the term ‘service’ offerings as just nodes in places was found to be only the surface façade of what service provision really implies within societal maintenance and sustainability. Hence, the service influence became far deeper leading to the conclusion that Service defines Society/Society defines Service. From these two succinct phrases, the curious and the imaginative are offered access to a perspective that engages with how society is, and performs, within its surface and hidden spaces that drive the societal process, and the connection of what ‘service’ has to do with it. Alice Springs is selected as a voice to sound out Society as Service/Service as Society, since it has been a traditional service provider for central Australia and continues to be, and its remote character has created a place of ‘pure’ serviceability. ‘Pure’ in the sense that it has no traditional primary production to fall back on to provide a sense of why it exists, as other settlements seem to possess explaining their initial and ongoing presence. Its existence is a question of service, which drives the local economy. These geographical factors provide a place rich in ‘serviceable’ research material, a valuable tool to gauge society. Bourdieuan theories assist with service and society association.