Entrepreneurship, Discourses and Conscientization in Processes of Regional Development
2007 (English)In: Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, ISSN 0898-5626, E-ISSN 1464-5114, Vol. 19, no 6, 499-525 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This paper is based upon a regional development project in a ‘vulnerable’ Swedish region consisting of three municipalities. At a first glance, this is a region in decline that is lacking in entrepreneurial initiatives. During a crucial time period the project ‘Diversity in Entrepreneurship’ (DiE) was launched to help the region to become more entrepreneurial and inclusive. An underlying logic was built into the project, which is associated with the critical pedagogy of Paolo Freire. From a Freirean perspective regions lacking in entrepreneurship could be reconsidered emphasizing that the entrepreneurial initiatives are always there – latent – however restrained by certain discourses; in this case a dominant enterprise discourse. Above all the enterprise discourse suppresses the ability for particular groups in society to view themselves as entrepreneurs. The purpose of this paper is to introduce Freire’s critical pedagogical perspective to entrepreneurship and regional development. An episode illustrating how the enterprise discourse suppresses an equality discourse, introduced by way of the DiE- project, makes the point of departure for discussing the process of ‘conscientization’, which refers to a type of learning that is focused on perceiving and exposing contradictions and to take action against the oppressive elements of reality (Freire 1970). Some key Freirean ideas or concepts are explained, first as they were expressed by Freire and then applied to entrepreneurship and regional development. It is then discussed how these concepts found their expressions in the project. The critical pedagogic perspective not only emphasizes an entrepreneurial potential in every individual, but it also gives an idea of what kind of processes could release entrepreneurial initiatives among those who do not view themselves as entrepreneurs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 19, no 6, 499-525 p.
critical pedagogy; conscientization; entrepreneurship; regional development; discourse.
Research subject Business Administration
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141094OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-141094DiVA: diva2:1085789