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Understanding women’s performance of entrepreneurship in the Sri Lankan context

Peiris, P.P.M, Tatli, A and Ozturk, M (2023) Understanding women’s performance of entrepreneurship in the Sri Lankan context. International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship. ISSN 1756-6266

Item Type: Article


The aim of this study is to explore how women in Sri Lanka cultivate entrepreneurial personae to navigate the various gendered roles they situationally enact, as they attempt to secure legitimacy and acceptance, and overcome their otherness. Drawing on Goffman’s theorisation of symbolic interaction, this study investigates how gender informs the performance of entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka. In this way, our study engages with the challenges women in the Global South navigate while undertaking entrepreneurship, and it contributes to the critical entrepreneurship literature on the intertwined nature of gender and entrepreneurship.
Following Feminist Standpoint Epistemology (FSE), our qualitative study focuses on women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka by examining the performance of entrepreneurship through 44 Life History Interviews (LHIs) and 40 Field Observations conducted over a seven-month period.
The findings reveal that women carefully cultivate entrepreneurial personae by striking a balance between entrepreneurial ideals and social expectations of womanhood. Our findings present how the entrepreneurial personae are constructed by way of appearance, mannerism, and setting, which presents opportunities for future research to explore the dramaturgical aspect of gender and entrepreneurship.
This study contributes to the growing body of feminist research surrounding women entrepreneurs, by drawing on insights from the lived experiences of women entrepreneurs in the Global South. This study also expands Goffman’s theorisation of audience segregation and shows that a subject’s understanding of the audience shapes the personae. A further contribution of this research is how space becomes an extension of the personae at play.

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Uncontrolled Keywords: Gender Feminist Standpoint Theory Symbolic Interactionism Performance Sri Lanka
Depositing User: Manesha Peiris


Item ID: 16839
Identification Number:
ISSN: 1756-6266
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Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for P.P.M Peiris: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2023 09:32
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 09:32


Author: P.P.M Peiris ORCID iD
Author: A Tatli
Author: M Ozturk

University Divisions

University of Sunderland in London


Business and Management > Business and Management
Business and Management > Human Resource Management

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