Department of Management

Identity work in entrepreneurship education: activating, scripting and resisting the entrepreneurial self

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Entrepreneurship education (EE) theory and practice show increasing interest in the concept of identity work as integral to entrepreneurial learning. EE offers various approaches to guiding students towards entrepreneurial identities, but critics note that these meet neoliberal manifestations of the entrepreneurial self, leaving little room for alternative identities to be cultivated in EE. Concerned with this critique, we aim to contribute to the EE literature through a detailed investigation of the identity work practices enacted in a case of EE, which explicitly seeks to facilitate the entrepreneurial identity construction of students. Through an in-depth analysis of teacher–student interactions, we identify three practices: setting new rules to activate the entrepreneurial self, playing by the rules by figuring the script and bending the rules protecting the self. Our analysis highlights the significance of resistance and notions of authenticity, which leads us to rethink the meaning and conditions of entrepreneurial identity work in EE.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Pages (from-to)271-292
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • Entrepreneurship Education, Authenticity, Entrepreneurial self, Identity work

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