Unmasking the Entrepreneur
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Unmasking the Entrepreneur

Campbell Jones and André Spicer

This book asks what lies behind the friendly face of the entrepreneur. It challenges the widespread idea that entrepreneurship is a necessary and good thing, subjecting ‘the entrepreneur’ to critical analysis. Unmasking the Entrepreneur demonstrates the socially embedded nature of entrepreneurship and considers the history, ethics and politics of entrepreneurship. Drawing on a range of ideas from critical social theory and philosophy, it investigates entrepreneurship in unusual places such as among illegal immigrants and revolutionary France. Ultimately, this book offers a unique and powerful critique of the very idea of the entrepreneur.
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Chapter 9: What Remains

Campbell Jones and André Spicer


We have found that entrepreneurship is an empty concept, but at the same time one that is filled with economic, political, legal and moral ramifications. Throughout this book we have sought to critically examine the category of the entrepreneur. As we have proceeded, we have sought to unmask the entrepreneur so as to show the limits of entrepreneurship discourse, both in the popular and academic spheres. But after all these unmaskings, in this final chapter we might ask what remains of the entrepreneur? Talk of entrepreneurship, both in the business world and in academic ruminations, promises a great deal. This is perhaps because of the religious grounds of the promise to create all things anew (Sørensen, 2008, see also Bill, 2006). With entrepreneurship comes the promise of a new life for the individual entrepreneur, and often new or improved social relations for those that will benefit from entrepreneurship. We find again and again the promise offered up of individual autonomy, of self-valuation and of an escape from a currently humdrum and boring life. It is important to understand this response. In fact it is quite an understandable response to the situation that many of us live in today. There is often a sense of being trapped in excessively rule-bound and over-bureaucratised societies, and a sense that things could certainly be different, and quite possibly better. But how do we respond to this sentiment? The temptation, too often, is only to see responses that are individualised. That is to say,...

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