chapter  6
12 Pages

Meetings, Social Rituals of Interaction and Exchange

Meetings provide social rituals of exchange in which social definitions and boundaries are negotiated. Like members of other associations of business owners, the members of NJAWBO define the use of the term entrepreneur, create rituals for the presentation of self as an entrepreneur, and establish ideas about the "true" woman business owner. The association sustains a symbolic community, "women owners" or "women owners in this county." The established entrepreneurial role is favorably compared beside the part-time business owner, who buys and sells on the side for a little extra money. But individuals who attend meetings may not possess the criteria that compose the definition of an entrepreneur. The community comprises women who derive their primary income from a business they manage full time, women who plan to start a business, women who have lost businesses, students, retirees, male allies and part time contractors. By interacting within the association, individuals come to understand the association's ideological definitions of an open, socially democratic market and their positions relative to the group's values.!