A Research Companion
Edited by Mustafa F. Özbilgin and Ayala Malach-Pines
Chapter 24: Intersectionality, Context and ‘Choice’: The Career Choice Influences of Self-employed Black Women
24. Intersectionality, context and ‘choice’: the career choice inﬂuences of self-employed black women Cynthia Forson INTRODUCTION Career choice decisions of self-employed women is a topic that continues to attract the attention of academics, with a number of researchers attempting to identify female entrepreneurs’ reasons for business start-up, examining their motivations from a variety of standpoints including psychological, sociological and economic perspectives. However, selfemployed women are not a heterogeneous group. For example, although African and Caribbean women have high participation rates of paid employment, they are grossly underrepresented in self-employment compared to male Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people and women generally. The aim of the study reported here was to examine the inﬂuences on the self-employment decisions of African and Caribbean women business owners from two sectors of the London economy – the legal and hairdressing sectors – in order to contribute to an understanding of how migration, class, gender and ethnicity intersect in broader as well as more speciﬁc ways to impact the career choice decisions of black1 women. The chapter draws on literature on entrepreneurship as well as other sources to show how the women’s self-employment career choice discourse has developed and outlines the qualitative, layered yet intersectional approach which the study takes to examine the inﬂuences on the decision to choose selfemployment as a career. The chapter presents the methods used in the study as well as the ﬁndings, which are discussed in the context outlined in the next section. 548 Career choice inﬂuences...
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