According to Galin (2000) civil society is conceived as an arena of popular opposition politics. To my understanding it is an area outside of the family, business and the state. A civil society wants to advance a common interest or interests. Non-governmental organizations and churches are examples. The societies are independent of the government. During the apartheids years in South Africa the ANC was also an example of a civil society, but now they are the ruling governing party.
Wikepedia definition: “It is sometimes considered to include the family and the private sphere and then referred to as the “third sector” of society, distinct from government and business. Dictionary.com’s 21st Century Lexicon defines civil society as 1) the aggregate of non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens or 2) individuals and organizations in a society which are independent of the government. Sometimes the term is used in the more general sense of “the elements such as freedom of speech, an independent judiciary, etc, that make up a democratic society” (Collins English Dictionary)
I need to do an assignment on a civil society and would like choose skills universe as a civil society. Skills universe is not linked to family, business nor the state. It wants to advance ‘common interests’ amongst training providers. On the website it states that: “Exploring the world of work. The network for training companies, facilitators, assessors, HR staff & everyone interested in people at work.” I actually don’t see the main purpose of skills universe as networking. “Business networking is a socio-economic activity by which groups of like-minded businesspeople recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities. A business network is a type of social network whose reason for existing is business activity.” Is skills universe existing because it is a business activity? I don’t think so.
I see skills universe as a civil society that wants to advance common interests. The advertising of jobs, learning material, etc. (business) is a very small component of this website.
Albert, Sylvia, other Skills Universe members … I would really appreciate your input.