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Aggressors; winners; victims and outsiders: European schools' social construction of the entrepreneur

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/02/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>International Small Business Journal
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)126-136
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article explores how people in the European schools' environment understand entrepreneurship, by tapping into the metaphors that they employ to describe entrepreneurs. Metaphors, where the characteristics of one thing are attributed creatively to another, have previously been shown to be a rich repository of socially constructed meanings. We find that across the European Schools' environment, the entrepreneur is a conflicted social archetype, simultaneously perceived as an aggressor and a winner, a victim and an outsider. Most transnational homogeneity existed in relation to the perception of the entrepreneur as a predatory aggressor, while positive constructions of the entrepreneur were more likely to be diverse between the six countries studied. These social constructions within European schools must be taken seriously if enterprise education is to be effective. We must take account of national divergence in understandings of the entrepreneur, as well as recognizing the pan-European suspicion of their predatory potential.