Enacting Social Inclusion and Exclusion through Necessity Entrepreneurship: An Ethnographic Account from Kutupalong

Research output: Working paperAcademic

Abstract

We develop an ethnographic theory of how necessity entrepreneurship (NE) gives rise to endemic institutions comprising social structures of cooperation and mutual recognition. These endemic institutions, in turn, provide a context in which the basic human need of social inclusion can be met, as the actors who inhabit these institutions feel valued by other institutional participants, use them as a platform for community care, and embrace them as a source of gratifying opportunities for social participation. Endemic institutions thus infuse necessity entrepreneurs’ lives with values and meaning and create opportunities for inclusion. These opportunities do not just reach the focal entrepreneurs themselves, but also touch the lives of many other beneficiaries profiting from these subsidiary effects. Yet such endemic institutions also have a distinctively darker side. When the social structures enacted by necessity entrepreneurs give rise to shame amongst those who cannot keep up, lead to new or increasing socio-economic divides, and create new social groupings that are hard to enter for aspiring members, newly created endemic institutions can become an exclusionary force that promotes social and income inequality. Our work enriches the discussion on the outcomes that NE creates over and above the mere fulfilment of basic physiological and security needs of the entrepreneurs involved.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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