Recent psychoanalytic work has demonstrated that neoliberal subjects disavow vulnerability and instead manifest an intensified individualism (Layton, 2010). Foucauldian thinkers have highlighted similar themes around the repudiation of dependencies (Binkley, 2011a); the illusion of autonomy (Davies, 2005); and the emphasis on personal responsibility (McNay, 2009). More broadly, feelings of insecurity, anxiety, stress and depression (Hall and O’Shea, 2013: 12; see also Ehrenberg, 2010; Sennett, 1998) have been linked to neoliberalism.
Conducting its life as enterprise, the enterprising self is bound by specific rules that emphasize ambition, calculation, accountability and personal responsibility (Du Gay, 1996; Rose, 1992). Crucially, the resources to become an entrepreneurial subject are unevenly distributed. As Ringrose and Walkerdine (2008) have argued, the subject of self-invention is predominantly middle class (see also O'Flynn and Petersen, 2007). And while discourses of entrepreneurial self-help have appealed to members of black and migrant communities (Gilroy, 2013), the constitution of entrepreneurial subjectivities also produces its ‘others’ (Scharff, 2011a; Williams, 2011). In relation to gender, some authors have argued that entrepreneurship is implicitly equated with the masculine (Bruni et al., 2004). Recent feminist research has, however, made the opposite argument and shown that women, and young women in particular, have become positioned as entrepreneurial subjects par excellence (Gill and Scharff, 2011; Ringrose and Walkerdine, 2008).
an entrepreneurial subject
Conducting its life as enterprise, the enterprising self is bound by specific rules that emphasize ambition, calculation, accountability and personal responsibility (Du Gay, 1996; Rose, 1992).
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