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|Title: ||The diva storyline: an alternative social construction of female entrepreneurship.|
|Authors: ||Smith, Robert|
|Issue Date: ||2009|
|Publisher: ||Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.|
|Citation: ||SMITH, R., 2009. The Diva storyline: an alternative social
construction of female entrepreneurship. International Journal of
Gender and Entrepreneurship, 1 (2), pp. 148-163.|
|Abstract: ||Purpose: Many ‘Divas’ despite possessing destructive character traits ironically become
successful entrepreneurs thus illustrating an alternative ‘storied’ social construction of
entrepreneurship. This influences how female entrepreneurs are perceived in the popular
press and can be manipulated as an alternative entrepreneurial reality. This work builds
upon research into entrepreneurial identity introducing the ‘Diva’ concept.
Methodology/approach: The qualitative methodological approach involves an analysis
of biographies of famous Diva’s to identify common themes; and an internet trawl to
identify supplementary micro–biographies and newspaper articles on ‘Divas’. This
tripartite approach allows rich data to be collected permitting a comparative analysis.
Findings: This empirical study presents the socially constructed nature of entrepreneurial
narrative and the ‘Diva storyline’ demonstrating the influence of journalistic licence upon
how successful women are portrayed. The study adds incremental credence to power of
male dominated journalistic practices to vilify enterprising behaviour to sell newspapers.
Research limitations/implications: An obvious limitation to the work is that the sample
of articles and biographies selected were chosen via search parameters which mention the
word ‘Diva’. Nevertheless, there is scope for further ‘more detailed’ research into the
phenomenon to flesh out the model built in this preliminary paper.
Practical implications: An important implication for scholars and journalists is the need
to reconsider how we tell and decode entrepreneur stories. As researchers we need to
recognise that there are other avenues for women to become entrepreneurs than to
become businesswomen and that it is alright for women to reject the ‘entrepreneur’ label.
Originality/value: This paper informs our understanding of the socially constructed
nature of how we tell, understand and appreciate entrepreneur stories. It thus makes a
unique contribution by illustrating that the storylines which constitute the ‘Diva Cycle’
are constructed from the same storylines that we associate with entrepreneur stories but
narrated in a different order. It provides another heuristic device for understanding the
social construction of gendered entrepreneurial identities making it of interest to feminist
scholars of entrepreneurship and to social constructionists alike.|
|Appears in Collections:||Journal articles (Management)|
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