“Who’s that Girl?” The entrepreneur as a ‘super(wo)man’.

De Simone, S. and Priola, V. (2021). “Who’s that Girl?” The entrepreneur as a ‘super(wo)man’. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences (In Press).

Abstract

Gender and entrepreneurship research emphasise the masculine symbolic domain of entrepreneurial practices, but mostly neglects to analyse the gender complexity of doing entrepreneurship. This article examines entrepreneurial femininities as constructed and performed by Italian women. Theoretically, it employs postfeminism as a ‘globalised’ discourse to offer a nuanced reading of the relationship between gender inequalities, entrepreneurship and postfeminism. Through the analysis of 51 interviews with entrepreneurs, the paper explores how postfeminist ideals and discourses (the “super(wo)man” who is “free” to choose) are adapted to reflect the Italian cultural context. In doing so it discusses how these women manage the co-existence of feminist (i.e. autonomy, empowerment) and anti-feminist (i.e. traditional division of household labour) expectations concerning women’s place in work and society.

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