This proposal aims to explore the potential new gender order in place through female entrepreneurship in the Internet sector. Marxist feminists believe that gender relation is integral to the production process and varies across places while interweaving with industrial transformation, changing labor market and regulations. It is an age of new capitalism where “a new ‘connexionist’, ‘project’ capitalism encourages horizontal teams, flexible networks and liberates individual creativity (Boltanski and Chiapello, 2005; Fraser, 2009)”. The rise of the network society (Castells,1996), accompanied by infiltration of information technology into the traditional sector and increasing niche entrepreneurship, will potentially generate new gender relation in place. Besides, the inter-city competition for globalized mobile capital and entrepreneurial place-marking may be a masculinized process varied with local economic pursuits, which complicates the spatial dynamic of female entrepreneurship. As the Internet industry is at the core of this grand social-economic transformation, I will examine how the market forces, government policies and local social-economic context would persistently influence female entrepreneurship in this emerging industry. Further, I want to explore how gender is integrated into local entrepreneurial place-making and how new gender culture is emerging. This research will apply cross-disciplinary approaches to study gender relation transformation in place both materially and ideologically. I will first explore the characteristics of female entrepreneurs’ business to examine the entrepreneurial segregation in the Internet industry based on a list sampled from several commercial databases. And I will conduct in-depth interviews with female entrepreneurs, passive observation of entrepreneurial activities and on-site investigation of coworking space to understand gender in entrepreneurial place-making and new gender culture.
About the Speaker:
Miss LUO Yiling is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Urban Planning and Design, the University of Hong Kong. Before joining the department, she received her master degree of urban planning from Peking University and the bachelor degree from Sun Yat-Sen University. Her research interests focus on the gender division of labor, innovation and entrepreneurship.
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CENTRE OF URBAN STUDIES AND URBAN PLANNING
THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG