Ethnic managerialism and its discontents: Policy implementation and 'ethnic minority businesses'

Ram, Monder, Jones, Trevor and Patton, Dean (2006) Ethnic managerialism and its discontents: Policy implementation and 'ethnic minority businesses'. Policy Studies, 27, (4), 295-309. (doi:10.1080/01442870601010002).


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Encouraging ethnic minorities to engage in a 'culture of enterprise' is a feature of New Labour's small-firm policy agenda. One manifestation of this is the increased activity on the part of 'ethnic brokers' involved in enterprise support. These developments appear to be detached from discussions in sociological circles alluding to the relational and contingent nature of ethnicity, and the concomitant inadequacy of racial categories that flourish in policy circles. This article examines how the notion of 'ethnic minority businesses' is constituted in policy and practice, and assesses how the tensions of working with fluid notions of ethnicity are handled. Through the medium of a case study undertaken in an ethnically diverse English city, the activities of a variety of different actors involved in a project on 'ethnic minority businesses' are assessed. The tensions inherent in working 'with' and 'against' categories of ethnicity in a policy context are reflected upon.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/01442870601010002
ISSNs: 0144-2872 (print)
1470-1006 (electronic)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions : Faculty of Business and Law > Southampton Business School
ePrint ID: 37229
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
December 2006Published
Date Deposited: 19 May 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:06

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