Subalternity and Entrepreneurship: Tales of Marginalized But Enterprising Characters, Oppressive Settings and Haunting Plots

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 251-260, 2007

10 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2010

See all articles by Virgil Henry Storr

Virgil Henry Storr

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center; University of Arizona Center for the Philosophy of Freedom

Bridget I. Butkevich

George Mason University

Date Written: October 1, 2007

Abstract

Entrepreneurs are cultural creatures and culture affects how they conceive their opportunities and how they determine and pursue their interests. Understanding entrepreneurship in any particular context thus requires attention to be paid to prevailing cultural beliefs as well as the formal and informal institutions that affect economic behaviour. This paper adopts the important but seldom used approach of focusing upon the tales of entrepreneurship prevalent in a given culture. The authors argue that to get a sense of the economic culture in a particular context, it is crucial to focus on what a culture’s success and failure stories tell about how to get ahead. Arguably, this approach is particularly important if the goal is to understand entrepreneurship amongst subaltern/marginalized groups. Using fiction from the former Soviet bloc, where a one-dimensional form of entrepreneurship flourished even within the command economy, and literature from anglophone Africa and the British Caribbean where black entrepreneurship had to contend with brutal colonial rule and post-colonial corruption, this paper highlights how entrepreneurs were influenced by culture in these contexts, and explores the origins of these cultural factors.

Keywords: Colonialism, Corruption, Culture, Entrepreneurship Narratives, Africa, Russia

Suggested Citation

Storr, Virgil Henry and Butkevich, Bridget I., Subalternity and Entrepreneurship: Tales of Marginalized But Enterprising Characters, Oppressive Settings and Haunting Plots (October 1, 2007). International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 251-260, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1711226

Virgil Henry Storr (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

University of Arizona Center for the Philosophy of Freedom ( email )

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

Bridget I. Butkevich

George Mason University

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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