Ruiz_Final Dissertation.pdf (3.49 MB)

The Rhetoric of Everyday-Entrepreneurship: Reframing Entrepreneurial Identity & Citizenship

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posted on 27.07.2021, 02:24 by Victoria E RuizVictoria E Ruiz

My dissertation forges a response that continues and expands discussions of entrepreneurialism in the 21st century. I seek to answer Welter and colleagues’ call to embrace the entrepreneurial diversity offered by the folks that are embedded in local communities. I argue for a reframing of entrepreneurship that acknowledges the work of everyday-entrepreneurs — people that operate in mundane contexts, beyond capitalist agendas, guided by socially aware objectives seeking to promote equity for the greater good. This undertaking is stretched across a three part study informed by feminist perspectives. Tracing the narratives belonging to women of historically marginalized identities reveals not only the exclusionary aspects of mainstream entrepreneurship, but also the innovative practices these women embody as they balance the social variables of identity politics within and across their communities. The participants of this study demonstrate entrepreneurial citizenship, a term I propose as the many ways everyday-entrepreneurs contribute to world-building and history-making for each of the different communities they belong to. Chapter one establishes the exigence for this work and provides commentary on the cultural framework from which entrepreneurship emerged. Chapter two offers a survey of the surrounding literature, and addresses how a bridging of interdisciplinary gaps helps scholars better understand everyday-entrepreneurship. Chapter three presents a case for taking an interdisciplinary approach towards diversifying entrepreneurial scholarship. Chapter four outlines the study design, methods, and methodology. In Chapter five, I present empirical observations that quantify the qualitative data collected for the study. And, finally, chapter six presents participant profiles in conjunction with case study vignettes that highlight snapshots of everyday-entrepreneurship in practice. Ultimately, this project seeks to show that there is much to be learned from the lived realities of everyday-entrepreneurs; widening discourse on entrepreneurship to include these individuals: (1) dismantles grand narratives of entrepreneurship that are intrinsically oppressive, especially for those with intersectional identities, (2) exposes interlocking forms of oppression operating within the obscure, shadowed margins of familiar spaces that render individuals invisible, (3) contributes to new models of entrepreneurial identity, and (4) diversifies entrepreneurial scholarship.

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History

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

English

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Thomas Rickert

Additional Committee Member 2

Bradley Dilger

Additional Committee Member 3

Patricia Sullivan

Additional Committee Member 4

Liza Potts

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