Migrant women entrepreneurs: a structurationist analysis of intersectionality in entrepreneurship

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In this paper, we explore the intersecting dimensions of gender and migration in entrepreneurship. For our analysis of original empirical data, we adopt a structurationist perspective of entrepreneurship, in which the interaction of agency with the oppressive structures of power is the central nexus. Migrant women entrepreneurs are situated at the intersection of different oppressive structures, namely patriarchy (gender) and outsidership (migration), where they do experience a restriction to their agency. Analysis of in-depth qualitative findings reveal the intersectional dimension of being women and migrant in entrepreneurship. As trailing wives, women migrant entrepreneurs are constrained by the gendered distribution of roles in the household and in society, due to structural and systemic oppression. They entrepreneurs also face a lack of agency both in the migration decision and in the household, further constraining entrepreneurship. By considering the intersection of different oppressive structures, we stress the importance of using an intersectional and systemic lens in entrepreneurship research, to highlight the specific issues faced by women migrant entrepreneurs, which would otherwise be missed. Such intersectional analysis is facilitated by the adopted structurationist approach, which captures the individual actions of agents within structures or systems, providing a systemic understanding of the complex web of oppressive structures applied to entrepreneurship. Our findings and conceptual development also contributes to the diversity and equality agenda in society in general and in entrepreneurship in particular, calling for a combination of inclusive practices and pro-active changes in entrepreneurship and policy-making.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019
EventAoM 2019: 79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. Boston, MA - Boston, United States
Duration: 9 Aug 201913 Aug 2019


  • gender
  • migration
  • entrepreneurship
  • intersectionality


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