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  • Berglund et al 2018 GWO accepted

    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Berglund K, Ahl H, Pettersson K, Tillmar M. Women's entrepreneurship, neoliberalism and economic justice in the postfeminist era: A discourse analysis of policy change in Sweden. Gender Work Organ. 2018;25:531–556. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12269 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gwao.12269 abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

    Accepted author manuscript, 271 KB, PDF-document

    Embargo ends: 16/07/20

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Women's entrepreneurship, neoliberalism and economic justice in the postfeminist era: A discourse analysis of policy change in Sweden

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
  • Karin Berglund
  • Helene Ahl
  • Katarina Pettersson
  • Malin Tillmar
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Gender, Work and Organization
Issue number5
Volume25
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)531-556
Publication statusPublished
Early online date16/07/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Since the early 1990s, there has been investment in women's entrepreneurship policy (WEP) in Sweden, which continued until 2015. During the same period, Sweden assumed neoliberal policies that profoundly changed the position of women within the world of work and business. The goals for WEP changed as a result, from entrepreneurship as a way to create a more equal society, to the goal of unleashing women's entrepreneurial potential so they can contribute to economic growth. To better understand this shift we approach WEP as a neoliberal governmentality which offers women ‘entrepreneurial’ or ‘postfeminist’ subject positions. The analysis is inspired by political theorist Nancy Fraser who theorized the change as the displacement of socioeconomic redistribution in favour of cultural recognition, or identity politics. We use Fraser's concepts in a discourse analysis of Swedish WEP over two decades, identifying two distinct discourses and three discursive displacements. Whilst WEP initially gave precedence to a radical feminist discourse that called for women's collective action, this was replaced by a postfeminist neoliberal discourse that encouraged individual women to assume an entrepreneurial persona, start their own business, compete in the marketplace and contribute to economic growth. The result was the continued subordination of women business owners, but it also obscured or rendered structural problems/solutions, and collective feminist action, irrelevant.

Bibliographic note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Berglund K, Ahl H, Pettersson K, Tillmar M. Women's entrepreneurship, neoliberalism and economic justice in the postfeminist era: A discourse analysis of policy change in Sweden. Gender Work Organ. 2018;25:531–556. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12269 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gwao.12269 abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.