Everyone could, but not all can. Outlines of the Enterprising Self.

Ulrich Bröckling

A multitude of current technologies that shape the conduct of individual life condense into the figure of the enterprising self, as a comprehensive model of neo-liberal subjectivity. This contribution traces the contours of this figure in two ways. The first part studies the theories of the entrepreneurial function, as found in the economic works of Ludwig von Mises, Israel M. Kirzner, Joseph Schumpeter and Frank H. Knight. The second part investigates popular guides to success that transform economic definitions into practical advice. Finally the paper comments on those, who are excluded from the formal economy and thus forced, even more than other individuals in contemporary society, to conduct their lives as an enterprise of the self.

Published 1 August 2002
Original in German

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