Socio-economic development, characterised by technological progress, de-industrialisation and high unemployment has increasingly pushed the discussion of self-employment to the centre of scientific research. The self-employment of groups particularly threatened by unemployment and decreased chances of upward mobility such as women in general and migrants, is a central issue for the development of adequate social polices to counter social exclusion. The conference will be a forum for the discussion of the social and biographical embeddedness of the entrepreneurial activities of migrant women and the adequacy of existing social policies, which promote self-employment. The proposed conference will establish a forum for the exchange of ideas among researchers working on ethnic business and gender. The presentations and discussion in the conference will theorise gender as relationship. Researchers working on ethnic business in general as well as researchers working on the gendered dimensions of ethnic business will discuss specific issues in relation to self-employment, gender and migration. Furthermore, the methodological perspective underlying most of the contributions is oriented to developing a processual approach which highlights biographical embeddedness. At the centre of the discussion are the results of TSER-projects focusing on the issue of ethnic business in formal and informal economy, especially the results of the TSER-project "Self-employment activities of women and minorities: their success or failure in relation to social citizenship policies".
The conference sessions are organised around the following major themes:
- Gender and migration;
- Ethnic business and society;
- Ethnic business, networking, culture and gender;
- Migrant women in the labour market;
- Migrant women in the ethnic economy;
- Ethnic business in the informal economy;
- Collective self employment of migrant women;
- Social policy and self-employment of migrant men and women;
- Ethnic business, gender and biography.