[Journal:] Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship [ISSN:] 2192-5372 [Volume:] 2 [Year:] 2013 [Pages:] 1-7
Background: Economy, business, and entrepreneurship are related to the world of men. Home, nurturing, and the family belong to women's world, so the story goes. On the other hand, family entrepreneurship and its outcome, the family business, is probably the most traditional way of conducting business, being thus a universal phenomenon. However, in comparison to other economic and entrepreneurial activities, the field of family entrepreneurship has been only recently addressed by economists, researchers, and academicians. Family entrepreneurship as a field of inquiry is suffering the consequences of conceptual dualisms rendering 'family' and 'business', 'kinship' and 'economy,' 'private,' and 'public' as distinct social and economic spheres. To that extent, the topic lies at the 'gray zones' of scholarly inquiry, resisting clear-cut definitions and approaches. Findings: In this paper, based on the findings of the two case-studies addressing the issues of succession, participation, and exclusion of women in family businesses, we will explore how the concept of 'gender' informs representations and practices, which reflect social attitudes - or the construction thereof - towards the 'division of labor' between men and women in the world of entrepreneurship. Conclusions: Drawing conclusions from the analysis, we will finally stress that core notions in both academic and laymen discourse provide a fertile ground on which the cultural category of gender can be utilized in helping to consider family entrepreneurship as a good place to start with, bringing about cultural change by reckoning contesting social categories based on gender as not of a contradictory, but of a complementary nature.