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Doing Gender, Doing Entrepreneurship: An Ethnographic Account of Intertwined Practices

Doing Gender, Doing Entrepreneurship: An Ethnographic Account of Intertwined Practices Traditional literature and research on entrepreneurship relies on a model of economic rationality alleged to be universal and agendered. This article presents a description of the processes that position people as ‘men’ and ‘women’ within entrepreneurial practices and as ‘entrepreneurs’ within gender practices, relying on an ethnographic study carried out in small enterprises in Italy. Our analysis shows how gender and entrepreneurship are enacted as situated practices and how the codes of a gendered identity are kept, changed and transgressed by constantly sliding between different symbolic spaces. In particular we highlight five processes of the symbolic construction of gender and entrepreneurship: managing the dual presence, doing ceremonial and remedial work, boundary‐keeping, footing and gender commodification. We then propose a final metaphor which conveys a summary image of these processes. In concluding, we link our analysis to the original purpose of our investigation, highlighting not only how entrepreneurship is equated with the masculine, but also how alternative and possible forms of entrepreneurship exist, in the same way as different forms of gender. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Gender, Work & Organisation Wiley

Doing Gender, Doing Entrepreneurship: An Ethnographic Account of Intertwined Practices

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0968-6673
eISSN
1468-0432
DOI
10.1111/j.1468-0432.2004.00240.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Traditional literature and research on entrepreneurship relies on a model of economic rationality alleged to be universal and agendered. This article presents a description of the processes that position people as ‘men’ and ‘women’ within entrepreneurial practices and as ‘entrepreneurs’ within gender practices, relying on an ethnographic study carried out in small enterprises in Italy. Our analysis shows how gender and entrepreneurship are enacted as situated practices and how the codes of a gendered identity are kept, changed and transgressed by constantly sliding between different symbolic spaces. In particular we highlight five processes of the symbolic construction of gender and entrepreneurship: managing the dual presence, doing ceremonial and remedial work, boundary‐keeping, footing and gender commodification. We then propose a final metaphor which conveys a summary image of these processes. In concluding, we link our analysis to the original purpose of our investigation, highlighting not only how entrepreneurship is equated with the masculine, but also how alternative and possible forms of entrepreneurship exist, in the same way as different forms of gender.

Journal

Gender, Work & OrganisationWiley

Published: Jul 1, 2004

References

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