Inderscience Publishers

Gender and family in transnational entrepreneurship

The current process of globalisation is not only about increasing cross–border flows of capital, goods and services, but also about people moving often from developing to developed areas in search of a better life. The role of women in these dislocations is increasing as they are counted on to provide for their families, while in many cases still expected to conform to traditional nurturing roles or to fill the gaps in nurturing roles left by 'career women'. On a larger socioeconomic context, taking their habitus and social, economic and cultural capital with them to the new territories and institutional set–ups, these immigrants are affecting urban economies in ways beyond the formal economy and accepted social norms. Drawing on empirical evidence from cross–national studies, we explore this phenomenon within the context of the European Union and migrants coming in from developing countries. Most of the empirical data consists of a comparative study on undocumented worker transitions (UWT–project), conducted by an international research team in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Italy, Spain and the UK. It includes 210 qualitative interviews with immigrants involved in the informal economy. Additionally, 84 interviews with stakeholders' representatives such as unions, public and semi–public agencies were conducted.

Keywords: transnational entrepreneurship, globalisation, gender, family, informal economic activities, bounded solidarity, enforceable trust, undocumented migration, parallel society, dual loyalty, divided loyalty, welfare state regime, EU migrants, non–EU migrants, immigration, developing countries, women, dislocation, female roles, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, UK

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