Dangerously Empty? Hegemony and the construction of the Irish Entrepreneur
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Kenny, K. & Scriver, S. (2012) Dangerously Empty? Hegemony and the construction of the Irish Entrepreneur. Organization, 19(5): 615-633.
In this paper we build on Jones and Spicer's (2009) conceptualisation of the entrepreneur as an empty signifier. We explore the function of the signifier 'entrepreneurship' within a social context marked by crisis: Ireland 2007 to 2010. In doing so, we show how its articulation by government acted to legitimise the continuation of market logics and, relatedly, the existing political status quo. Theoretically, we demonstrate the usefulness of Laclau and Mouffe's conception of hegemony, which shares a Lacanian legacy with Jones and Spicer. This helps us to understand the contradictory nature of the signifier of the entrepreneur in Irish political and social discourse, along with its relationship to the reproduction of political hegemony.