Cultural Entrepreneurship: New Perspectives for Entrepreneurship Studies
From the perspective of entrepreneurship studies, my research reflects a growing appeal for non-conventional aspects of entrepreneurship to be studied as a means of developing a closer understanding or even ‘surprising’ the academic field of entrepreneurship (Hjorth and Steyaert, 2006, p. 3). A critical perspective on current depictions of entrepreneurship can act as a catalyst for seeking new narratives. Hjorth and Steyaert’s book includes a study of indigenous people from deprived communities who change their socio-economic circumstances by rebuilding their community through entrepreneurial practice, thereby demonstrating their ability to control their future and challenge dominant views of their socio-cultural identity (Anderson et al., 2006, p.56).
I present a study of cultural entrepreneurship as a means of investigating the lived experience of entrepreneurial modes of work, within the cultural industries.I explore aspects of identity theory to support the notion of individuals manipulating and negotiating identities within a specific social context. I argue that mechanisms of personal agency can be determined by a belief in one’s ability to organise a course of action through some level of control and autonomy. The tensions and contradictions between agency and social context can be explored by a deeper understanding of the relationship between individuals, the immediate environment in which they work and a wider discourse.
Critical debates inform social injustices and inequalities in cultural work, but they also help to problematize entrepreneurship by contesting established and often dominant discourses. My aim is to uncover new insights by connecting the cultural entrepreneurs’ narratives with current advancements in entrepreneurship studies and critical discussions of cultural policy and Neo-Liberalism.