Entrepreneur-mentality, gender and the study of women entrepreneurs

Uses the neologism “entrepreneur mentality” – paying implicit homage to Foucault’s govermentality – to highlight how an entrepreneurial discourse is mobilized as a system of thinking about women entrepreneurs which is able to make some form of that activity thinkable and practicable, namely: who can be an entrepreneur, what entrepreneurship is, what or who is managed by that form of governance of economic relations? Discourses on women entrepreneurs are linguistic practices that create truth effects. Argues that social studies of women entrepreneurs tend to reproduce an androcentric entrepreneur mentality that makes hegemonic masculinity invisible. They portray women’s organizations as “the other”, and sustain social expectations of their difference, thereby implicitly reproducing male experience as a preferred normative value. Taking a deconstructive gaze on how an entrepreneur-mentality discourse is gendered, reveals the gender sub-text underpinning the practices of the scientific community that study women entrepreneurs and, in so doing, open a space to question them.(Publication abstract)

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