Constructing an Entrepreneurial Life: Liminality and Emotional Reflexivity in Identity Work

Sara Louise Muhr*, Christian De Cock, Magdalena Twardowska, Christina Volkmann

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper examines the identity work of a budding entrepreneur through a longitudinal case study based on his ongoing personal reflections as he tries to construct an entrepreneurial life. In particular, we investigate the role of emotional reflexivity and liminality, concepts that give us analytical purchase in exploring the complex dynamics of this identity work. The liminal condition of multiple identity positions enables our informant to experiment with and integrate several parallel identity narratives as he tries on socio-political constructions of ‘the entrepreneur’ for size; and it is the permanence of the liminal condition that makes emotional reflexivity necessary so he can handle the constant lack he experiences. The contribution of our work lies in exploring how the operation of the discourse of enterprise never closes on the centre of subjectivity that is imputed in that discourse, and how our subject, through emotional reflexivity, deals with this fundamental lack.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEntrepreneurship and Regional Development
Issue number7/8
Pages (from-to)567-582
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Published online: 6. April 2019


  • Identity
  • Politics
  • Discourse

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