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Biographical methods and professional practiceAn international perspective$
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Prue Chamberlayne

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781861344939

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861344939.001.0001

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Balancing precarious work, entrepreneurship and a new gendered professionalism in migrant self-employment

Balancing precarious work, entrepreneurship and a new gendered professionalism in migrant self-employment

(p.38) (p.39) Three Balancing precarious work, entrepreneurship and a new gendered professionalism in migrant self-employment
Biographical methods and professional practice

Ursula Apitzsch

Policy Press

The structural crisis in the post-industrial society since the last third of the twentieth century was marked by the continuous eradication of jobs and workplaces without compensation in sight. This has impelled intellectuals and policymakers to speak in terms of the ‘economically redundant’, in as much as the same way that industrialisation discourse during the nineteenth century spoke of a ‘a surplus population’. However, in the eyes of neoliberal economists, a sector of migrant population in industrial societies seemed to be crisis-resistant. On the basis of their niche economies, these entrepreneurial migrants seemed to be able to develop economic resources out of ethnic networks, ethnic skills and ethnic financial models. This chapter discusses questions concerning entrepreneurial migrants and ethnic economies in three steps. First, it discusses the wider relevance of issues involved in the concept of ethnic business to European self-employment policies as a whole. Here, the chapter refers particularly to the concept of the mixed ‘mixed embeddeness of migrant self-employed’ in the context of the European welfare model. The chapter then considers the gender issues that are associated with different forms of biographic processes of self-employment. Next, this chapter presents the empirical results of a study focused on biographical aspects of this topic. It considers the gender-specific implications of new forms of entrepreneurship and professional practice for policy evaluation. The chapter concludes by commenting on the concept of ‘active citizenship policies’ in support of self-employment projects.

Keywords:   migrant population, entrepreneurial migrants, economic resources, ethnic networks, ethnic skills, ethnic financial models, ethnic business, European self-employment policies, migrant self-employed

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