Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Aged and gendered master narratives on entrepreneurship in Finnish higher education

List of AuthorsSiivonen, Päivi, Komulainen, Katri, Kasanen, Kati & Kupiainen, Paula

PublisherInternational Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship

Publication year2022

Volume number14

Issue number1

Start page26

End page43

DOI 10.1108/IJGE-01-2021-0010


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the construction of master narratives related to age, gender and entrepreneurship in the context of entrepreneurship education (EE) in Finnish higher education (HE). This is important as master narratives create and limit our understanding of entrepreneurship. Design/methodology/approach – The data comprises 30 student interviews generated in one multidisciplinary Finnish university. The data were analyzed using narrative positioning analysis to examine what kinds of master narratives are (re)constructed in relation to age and entrepreneurship by Finnish university students and how gender intertwines with age in the construction of entrepreneurship.

Findings – Three aged and gendered master narratives were identified: (1) youthful, masculine, startup/ growth entrepreneurship; (2) middle-aged feminine, expert entrepreneurship and (3) modest, feminine, senior entrepreneurship. The paper makes visible aged and gendered master narratives and cultural norms related to entrepreneurship in the context of EE and HE. Authors argue that the youthful, masculine startup/growth entrepreneurship is the hegemonic master narrative in the context of EE in Finnish HE. Femininity is mostly excluded from this master narrative.

Originality/value – The paper contributes to critical literature on entrepreneurship as an aged as well as gendered phenomenon in the context of EE and HE. So far research on entrepreneurship as an aged and gendered phenomenon in EE and in the context of HE has been virtually non-existent. Moreover, the theoretical and methodological focus on master narratives in entrepreneurship and EE literature is novel. The master narratives identified in the study show that HE students are not addressed equally in relation to entrepreneurship, but aged and gendered hierarchies are sustained.

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Last updated on 2022-19-12 at 14:39