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‘Money probably has something to do with my life’: Discourse and materiality in the working lives of start-up entrepreneurs

Musilek, Karel ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8315-6283, Jamie, Kimberly and Learmonth, Mark 2023. ‘Money probably has something to do with my life’: Discourse and materiality in the working lives of start-up entrepreneurs. Work, Employment and Society 10.1177/09500170231185033

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Abstract

This article contributes to an understanding of work-intensive entrepreneurial lives as part of analysing the intensification of work in society. It offers an empirical extension of Foucauldian analyses, which attribute commitment to work to the influence of neoliberal enterprise discourse while often neglecting the material conditions of entrepreneurial work. The article draws on moderate constructionism and materialist discourse analysis to offer an account that pays attention to discourse and material realities. This ethnographic study shows how participants evoked norms of enterprise discourse to explain their commitment to work. However, they also understood these norms to be fundamentally shaped by their material conditions. The major contribution of the article is to show that the interpenetration of discursive norms with the investment logic of enterprise tends to displace boundaries between work and personal life and shift temporal arrangements of work from work–life ‘balance’ to prospects of free time in the imagined future.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 0950-0170
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 April 2024
Date of Acceptance: 31 May 2023
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2024 10:17
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/167679

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