Global Grammars of Enterprise/Entrepreneurship

Monday, 16 July 2018: 11:30
Oral Presentation
Diego CARBAJO PADILLA, Universidad del País Vasco, Spain
Peter KELLY, School of Education, RMIT University, Australia
In the context of long run historical transformations in globalising labour markets, the emergence of a so-called ‘digital disruption’/‘Third Industrial Revolution’, and the still unfolding aftermath of the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis (GFC) precarity has become the key characteristic of the contexts in which many young people in the liberal democracies of the OECD/EU seek some ‘solution’ to the challenges and opportunities of making a ‘transition’ to adulthood. At the same time that this diffuse and ambivalent, symbolic and material, form of violence (precarity) is profoundly altering young people’s working and living conditions, government agencies and departments, educational institutions, businesses and NGOs (for example, regional and national governments, the OECD, UNESCO, EU) are developing and promoting different enterprise/entrepreneurship programs as the primary mechanism to deal with young people’s marginalisation, exclusion and unemployment.

Grounded in two on-going research projects related to self and social enterprise/entrepreneurship in Europe and Australia the paper will introduce the analytical concept of global grammars of enterprise/entrepreneurship to identify, examine and analyse a number of things, including:

  • the shifting, unstable, always strategic power relations between governmental discourses/rationalities of ‘enterprise’/‘entrepreneurialism’ —that can usefully be situated in what Foucault would call a neo-Liberal apparatus that seeks to individualise and responsibilise ‘entrepreneurship’;
  • and the performances and actions of enterprise, the enterprising behaviour and dispositions of persons and groups, the ‘vernacular’, local, particular, ‘translations’ of the ideas of enterprise/entrepreneurship that organisations and young people enact in places such as the Basque country (Spain), Melbourne (Australia), and in other contexts where our research ‘touches down’, including Scotland and San Francisco.

The ‘metaphor’ of global grammars of enterprise/entrepreneurship is suggestive of an analysis that highlights and acknowledges young people’s situated, unstable, shifting and fluid performances and enactments of enterprise amid the violence of globalising precarisation.