Chapter 8: Gender, organizations and entrepreneurship
Edited by Daniel Hjorth
An academic essay on this topic invites definitions. What is gender, what is an organization and what is entrepreneurship, and how do these relate? As space is restricted, the approach must necessarily be selective. For this reason I begin by declaring my starting point right away: I consider this feminist work, which means that the primary research interest concerns constructions of gender, that is, constructions of masculinity and femininity, and resulting gender/power orders. There is also an emancipatory interest – results from feminist research may be of value for men and women in their work for greater gender equality. A second demarcation would be the declaration of an epistemological point of view. As most contemporary feminist scholarship, this is social constructionist work in the tradition of Berger and Luckmann (1966) and Foucault (1972). Berger and Luckman tell us that things are what we make them to be, within the limits of what can be accepted by others – it takes a group of people to agree on a certain version of social reality to make it stick. Masculinity and femininity are prime targets for social construction. Competing versions exist, making any claim to truth contestable, but they are nevertheless amazingly enduring, and so are their eff ects. Foucault reminds us that social constructions, or discourses in his terminology, are not innocent, but entail power arrangements with tangible consequences for men and women. The most common result by far is male superiority and female subordination.
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