How Did I Get Here? Topic of April 12 Lecture


As part of on-going ethnographic research detailed life histories of 12 business women was collected through in-depth interview, visits to these women’s corporate offices, factories, home and community and through participant observation. The women entrepreneurs shared fairly similar privileged class and caste background, which provided them with cultural, social, and human capital which in turn defined the character of their firms and the business strategies pursued by such women. However, these women have divergent experiences, in making use of their opportunities and in navigating the complex phenomenon that involves personal ambition, identity, cultural practices, and the work community that emerged around them. Consequently these women have developed different life styles and crafted variety of patterns of work-life balance, which challenge the conventional understanding of profit, productivity, knowledge and success.

This led to identifying 2 groups of women subjects a) women of Indian origin in the U.S. who have the migratory experience, that is, those who have attended American universities and worked in U.S before starting their business and b) women who have not migrated to the United States and therefore had more organic and indigenous career path. The study provides an account of the social, cultural and historical context, besides individual attributes of these women entrepreneurs, as part of the process in re-defining business behavior.


Faculty Lectures are presented on Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. in 103 Davis Fine Arts.  They are open to the public.

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