The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in
the beginning. If you knew when you began a book what you would say at the end,
do you think that you would have the courage to write it? What is true for writing
and for a love relationship is true also for life. The game is worthwhile insofar as
we don’t know what will be the end.
Entrepreneurial Selves is an ethnography of economy, labor, and affect
in a time and place of neoliberalism. This is a story about what it
means to be respectable and middle class, and the manner in which
these concepts work in tandem, in ways that are simultaneously gen-
dered and culturally particular. Entrepreneurialism, I will argue, is
becoming not simply a mechanism of self- employment—a vehicle
for income generation, an economic matter of business, that is, en-
trepreneurship in a narrow sense—but a subtler, generalized way
of being and way of feeling in the world. This entrepreneurialism
connects market practices with self- making and is predicated upon
porous boundaries of public and private life. The self as an entre-
preneurial “project” under constant renovation is a key signpost of
neoliberalism and its perpetual quest for flexibility in the changing
global marketplace (Bourdieu 1998; Rose 1992; Illouz 2007, 2008;
Walkerdine 2003). Foucault described four types of technologies by
which human beings make sense of themselves, each of which is
integral to the entrepreneurial pursuit:
Entrepreneurial Selves
an introduction
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