Entrepreneurship can be read as a cultural and economic phenomenon. In recent times, gender has become an increasing influence on entrepreneurship. This groundbreaking new study considers both gender and entrepreneurship as symbolic forms, looking at their diverse patterns and social representation. Presenting an ethnographic study of the gender structuring of entrepreneurship, this work employs three strategies:
A critical survey of gender studies which argues that entrepreneurship is a cultural model of masculinity that obstructs the expression of other models;
'Reflexive' ethnographic observation conducted in five small firms which describes how business cultures are 'gendered' and how gender is the product of a social practice;
An analysis of how discursive and narrative practices in business cultures constitute gender and entrepreneurship.
Attila Bruni is lecturer of Sociology of Organization/Organizational Ethnography at Venice University, Italy.
Silvia Gherardi is Professor of Sociology of Organization at the University of Trento.
Barbara Poggio is Lecturer of Sociology of Organization at the University of Siena.