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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53380
Doc. No:TL23334
Call number:‭3254792‬
Main Entry:Worku Nida
Title & Author:Entrepreneurialism as a social movement: How the Gurage became successful entrepreneurs and what it says about identity in EthiopiaWorku Nida
College:University of California, Los Angeles
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:368
Abstract:The study is about the rise of the Gurage in Ethiopia from a position as a subjugated rural minority ethnic group to the leading entrepreneurs in the nation. The specific case of the Gurage shows how to theoretically re-think the interplay of culture and structure, ideology and identity-making in entrepreneurial processes. Based on extensive interviews with individual Gurage entrepreneurs, the findings demonstrate that a combination of three interacting factors, described as a three-legged scaffolding, interplayed to result in Gurage success. These three factors are individual attributes such as persistence and hard work; cultural factors including ethnic solidarity; and institutional features such as support from the national government in the form of laws and financial backing. Using theoretical insights from earlier research on capitalism and entrepreneurs, the rise of the Gurage is explained as a social movement in which people refashioned their identities and self-other configurations. Their success derived from the interplay of their group identity and national historical events. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, the Gurage suffered from the imperial conquest by Emperor Menilek II; their loss of access to their land and their subordinate status led many of them to migrate to Addis Ababa. There the first generation of migrants began doing menial labor for expatriate business owners. They learned those businesses and took them over, and they supported newer Gurage migrants with jobs and shared housing, and made use of their membership in rotating credit associations. By the time of the rise of Haile Selassie's Ethiopian nationalism in the 1940s and 1950s, Gurage interest in driving out expatriates coincided with that political moment, and the Gurage emerged with a new identity as a national bourgeoisie. That identity made them a target of persecution by the Derge and EPRDF governments that came to power in 1974 and 1991, respectively, when they were portrayed as avaricious capitalists, but Gurage entrepreneurs persevered and emerged as business leaders under both regimes. The study offers an explanation of the sociocultural work that an ideology of ethnic entrepreneurialism can do for the entrepreneurial group and for reshaping wider domains of interethnic economic and political relations in modern multiethnic states.
Subject:Social sciences; Entrepreneurialism; Ethiopia; Gurage; Identity; Social movement; Cultural anthropology; African history; Social structure; 0326:Cultural anthropology; 0700:Social structure; 0331:African history
Added Entry:K. H. Brodkin, Sondra
Added Entry:University of California, Los Angeles