The Politics and Aesthetics of Entrepreneurship

The Politics and Aesthetics of Entrepreneurship

A Fourth Movements in Entrepreneurship Book

Edited by Daniel Hjorth and Chris Steyaert

This fourth book in the New Movements in Entrepreneurship series focuses on the politics and aesthetics of entrepreneurial processes, in order to shed light on entrepreneurial creation itself.

Chapter 10: Stigmatization and Self-Presentation in Australian Entrepreneurial Identity Formation

James Reveley and Simon Down

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, organisation studies


10. Stigmatization and selfpresentation in Australian entrepreneurial identity formation James Reveley and Simon Down Public narratives concerning indigenous economic development are increasingly being colonized by enterprise discourse. As du Gay (1996, 2000a) amply demonstrates, in another connection, discursive colonization is a multifaceted phenomenon that intertwines with political and economic institutions to incorporate a wide range of actors. This effect is evident as political reorientations towards – and within – indigenous communities, and welfare spending cuts due to neo-conservative state governance, have piqued public interest in indigenous enterprise as a form of economic development that can redress chronic social inequality (Peredo et al., 2004). Australia is a case in point, as significant academic (Hindle and Rushworth, 2002), state-political (Hockey, 2003), and Aboriginal activist voices (Pearson, 2000) have called for policies to encourage more Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders to set up their own businesses. The dominant view is that supporting indigenous enterprise start-ups will help to alleviate the socioeconomic disadvantage currently experienced by indigenous Australians, thereby improving their life-chances and decreasing their dependence on the state. Post-colonialist critiques of such initiatives point to continuities between the disastrous legacy of colonial repression and ongoing state-led attempts to structure and influence the economic and social arrangements of indigenous peoples. The link between evolving capitalist ‘regimes of political economy’ (Lloyd, 2002, p. 238) and the continuing economic disadvantage of indigenous peoples has been well documented by scholars from a range of disciplines (Ehrensaft and Armstrong, 1978; Emmanuel, 1982; Steven, 1990). Others maintain that...

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