Social embeddedness, 'choices' and constraints in small business start-up : black women in business
Historically, black women's labour market experiences in the UK have been largely framed by factors that encouraged the racialisation of women's work. migration patterns, changes in the global economy and government policy which led to concentrations of black women working in employment personal and health services and hotel and catering services. Self-employment seems to offer minority groups a way out of the gendered and racialised employment structures. This doctoral thesis demonstrates the lack of attention given to the experiences of black women. that is. those for whom the literature on a) gender and, b) ethnicity provide only a partial account. This thesis has sought to address this partiality. Critical insights emerge from the adoption of an original, in-depth and multi-layered qualitative methodological approach to the examination of the motivations and start-up experiences of black women in the legal and African-Caribbean hairdressing sectors, examining macro, meso and micro influences on their self-employment experiences. The thesis establishes a link between the wider structures of gender, ethnicity and class set within specific historical and contemporary sectoral contexts, and black women's self-employment experiences. The study also demonstrates the intersectional nature of the influence of these structures, highlighting black women's entrepreneurship as being framed by an interlocking influence of gender, ethnicity and class in contrast to the one dimensional perspective of much current literature. Using Pierre Bourdieu's sociological concepts of field, habitus, strategies, dispositions and capital within a feminist paradigm the thesis contributes to a growing body of post-colonial feminist literature through a reconceptualisation of the relations of dominance and resistance in the self-employment experiences of black women. It also offers policy makers concerned with the use of self-employment as a means of addressing the inequalities that black women face in the labour market and BME women's under-representation in self-employment. a new understanding of the dynamics of black women's business experiences that will aid in the formulation of policy and support initiatives that meet the needs of black women.
- Theses