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The biographical embeddedness of women’s self-employment. Motivations, strategies and policies

  • Maria Kontos

Abstract

Within the framework of the project, a biographical approach to analyzing and evaluating the impact of policies supporting self-employment initiatives was developed. Thus far, evaluative research on self-employment policies has assessed the effectiveness of such policies by investigating the extent to which they encourage the foundation of new businesses and the viability of the enterprises thereby created (Meager 1993, Schmid et al. 1996, Wie\ner 2001, Hinz et al. 1999). The methods traditionally employed tend to be quantitatively oriented and focus largely on individual instruments and programs. The biographical approach to evaluating selfemployment policies attempts to broaden this perspective. This evaluation methodology is target-oriented (Schmid et al. 1996), analyzing the cumulative effects of self-employment and other policies affecting specific social groups. This approach recognizes that labor market behavior does not exist in isolation and that a systematic evaluation needs to consider the mechanisms and process structures that govern labor market behavior. In other words, in order to develop a theory of the impact of policy on these biographical processes, the self-coordinated, self-governed process of becoming self-employed has to be analyzed. In this context, we regard entrepreneurship as a phenomenon embedded not only in social relations and networks (Portes/Sessenbrenner 1993, Granovetter 1995), and in legal and economic contexts (Kloostermann/Rath 2001, 2003) but in biographical processes, as well. The move towards self-employment is thought of as a process that is interrelated with other biographical processes, extending far back in an individual’s biography and touching upon many aspects of identity and the development of the self (Kupferberg 1998a).

Keywords

Entrepreneurial Activity Native Woman German Sample Pilot Flame Biographical Narration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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    The interview with Lene has been conducted and analysed by Marianne Nortoft Thomsen. (See Kupferberg/Nortoft Thomsen 2000)Google Scholar
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    The interview with Jane has been conducted and analysed by Marianne Nortoft Thomsen (See Kupferberg/Nortoft Thomsen 2000).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Kontos
    • 1
  1. 1.J.W. Goethe-UniversitÄt Frankfurt/ M.Germany

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