A Second Movements in Entrepreneurship Book
Edited by Daniel Hjorth and Chris Steyaert
Chapter 9: Masculine Entrepreneurship – The Gnosjö Discourse in a Feminist Perspective
Katarina Pettersson INTRODUCTION Entrepreneurs are commonly stereotyped as men, in general, and in particular in research on entrepreneurship (Sundin, 1988; Sundin and Holmquist, 1989; Holmquist, 1997; Gunnerud Berg, 1997; Lindgren, 2000; Ahl, 2002). It is argued that mainstream entrepreneurship research and writings on entrepreneurship in general have a male bias. In this chapter I show that this is true for texts – both research texts and others – concerning entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in Gnosjö, Sweden. Gnosjö is a place in Sweden which is commonly associated with prosperous entrepreneurship and a large number of self-employed. The entrepreneur in Gnosjö is most often represented as a man, dressed in a blue working outﬁt with a tool in his hand. This is the case even though 33 per cent of the entrepreneurs in this municipality are women.46 The purpose of this chapter is to apply a feminist perspective and critically examine how gender is implied in the Gnosjö discourse, particularly in the context of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs.47 I see the texts, which I analyse in this chapter, as making up the Gnosjö discourse. The concept of discourse implies a strong association between power and knowledge (Foucault, 1977; Foucault, 1993). The masculine bias of the Gnosjö discourse can be seen as a product of constructions of gender embedded within power relations. Even though women entrepreneurs in Gnosjö are seldom mentioned in the discourse on Gnosjö, the discourse is still perceived of as interesting and accurate knowledge about, for example, how entrepreneurship is created and sustained,...
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