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Gendered discourses of entrepreneurship in UK higher education: The fictive entrepreneur and the fictive student

Jones, S (2014) Gendered discourses of entrepreneurship in UK higher education: The fictive entrepreneur and the fictive student. International Small Business Journal, 32 (3). pp. 237-258. ISSN 0266-2426

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Abstract

This article posits the idea of the ‘fictive entrepreneur’ and the ‘fictive student’ to explore how the historical masculinisation of entrepreneurship has informed UK policy and higher education (HE) approaches to entrepreneurship education, and the implications of this for female students. Using a Bourdieuian perspective, discourse analysis is employed to critically analyse policy and research documents and identify entrepreneurship discourses that construct both a ‘fictive entrepreneur’ that students should aspire to become, and a ‘fictive student’ who will benefit from HE entrepreneurship education. It argues that rather than being gender neutral or meritocratic, these discourses of entrepreneurship are saturated with gendered meanings which position HE students and entrepreneurs in potentially damaging ways.

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