The book's central focus explores several "myths" associated with American entrepreneurship: the idea that small business owners are "job creators"; that entrepreneurs are the "backbone" or "engine" of the economy; that entrepreneurship provides a path of economic mobility for immigrants, ethnic and racial minorities, and women; that the Horatio Algiers "rags to riches" story is possible for anyone willing to work hard. Instead, I provide a critical perspective that challenges these myths of American enterprise, arguing that successful entrepreneurship requires access to social and economic capital resources and support that are often distributed along the lines of race, class, and gender in the highly stratified American economy and society.
Zulema Valdez is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Merced. Her interests include intersectionality, Latino/a Sociology, and social inequality. She is the author of The New Entrepreneurs: How Race, Class and Gender Shape American Enterprise (Stanford, 2011).
Series Forward Preface Acknowledgements I. Who is an Entrepreneur and What is Entrepreneurship? II. Entrepreneurs Striving for the American Dream III. Are American Entrepreneurs as Diverse as We Think? Understanding Trends and Group Differences IV. Joe the Plumber and the Myth of New Small Businesses as "Job Creators" V. The False-Positive Claim: Recessions Stimulate Entrepreneurship VI. Conclusion Bibliography Glossary/Index