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"And now I'm free': Women's empowerment and emancipation through entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia and Sweden
Univ Lancaster, UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4403-060X
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship. Stockholm University.
2018 (English)In: Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, ISSN 0898-5626, E-ISSN 1464-5114, Vol. 30, no 7-8, p. 877-900Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Critical perspectives have called for the study of women's entrepreneurship as a route to social change. This social turn' claims women are empowered and/or emancipated through entrepreneurship with limited problematisation of how these interchangeably used concepts operate. Using an institutional perspective in combination with a narrative approach, we investigate women entrepreneurs' life stories on their road to freedom' where entrepreneurial activity enables them to break free' from particular gendered constraints. Through juxtaposing women's narratives in the contexts of Saudi Arabia and Sweden, the relationship between empowerment and emancipation is disentangled and (re)conceptualised. The findings distinguish between empowerment narrated as individual practices to achieve freedom for the self within institutional structures and emancipation as narrated as a wish to challenge and change structures of power and reach collative freedom. The yearning for collective emancipation propels women's stories of entrepreneurship by raising expectations for entrepreneurship as a vehicle for institutional change. Such stories may fascinate and inspire others to engage in entrepreneurial endeavours to become empowered, but whether they reach emancipation remains an empirical question to be answered. The performative dimension of entrepreneurial narratives is, however, their ability to turn emancipation into an (un)reachable object of desire, with a quest for even more individual empowerment and entrepreneurial activity, at the same time excluding other forms of human conduct as conducive for change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2018. Vol. 30, no 7-8, p. 877-900
Keywords [en]
Women's entrepreneurship, life stories, empowerment and emancipation, Cross-cultural contexts, seeking freedom, institutional change, narrative approach
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Economy, Ledarskap, entreprenörskap och organisation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-78109DOI: 10.1080/08985626.2018.1500645ISI: 000443879600010Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85052126609OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-78109DiVA, id: diva2:1252396
Available from: 2018-10-01 Created: 2018-10-01 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved

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Berglund, Karin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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