(De)Mobilizing the Entrepreneurship Discourse

(De)Mobilizing the Entrepreneurship Discourse

Exploring Entrepreneurial Thinking and Action

Edited by Frederic Bill, Björn Bjerke and Anders W. Johansson

This unique and fascinating book takes a critical look at aspects of the prevalent entrepreneurship discourse and presents several substantive new theories, prescribing what should be abandoned (demobilization) and what should be adopted or given a more central position (mobilization).

Chapter 8: Entrepreneurship Requires Resistance to be Mobilized

Karin Berglund and Johan Gaddefors

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship


Karin Berglund and Johan Gaddefors INTRODUCTION It’s Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. on a spring day in 1983. Michel Foucault is strolling down a lane in Berkeley on his way to a lecture on Kant, Socrates and Seneca. One undergraduate Philip Horvitz, who is studying to become an actor and a dancer, attends the class. According to James Miller, the writer of the biography The Passion of Michel Foucault, Horvitz was obviously also interested in mastering ‘the currents of avant-garde thought’ and thrilled and curious enough after Foucault’s guest lecture to decide to visit him during his ‘open office hour’ (1993/2000, p. 351ff). The dialogue between Horvitz and Foucault comes to be about power, resistance and changing structures; not surprisingly, perhaps, as Foucault is the philosopher who has made an enormous impact during the last century by practically turning upside down our thoughts on how we can perceive power. Power, Foucault claims, is ‘everywhere’, producing not only knowledge but also the Self. Contrary to the idea of power as a function that makes a person do something he or she would not do otherwise, this view of power puts it the other way around. As Sunesson (1987/2003, p. i) elaborates in the preface to Foucault’s path-breaking Discipline and Punish, ‘the twist is that our body is imprisoned by our soul, and not the other way around – as we most often understand it – that our body makes up the prison of our soul. Consequently, it is our thoughts that determine what...

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