chapter  6
33 Pages

Desperate success

Managing the mumpreneur
ByJo Littler

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This chapter analyses the figure of the mumpreneur to focus a discussion of the role of gender and entrepreneurialism in neoliberal meritocracy. It considers representations of the mumpreneur in relation to the wider context of social reproduction, particularly in terms of how the relationship between gender, work and childcare remains dramatically inequitable. The chapter discusses the attempted temporary crystalisation of gendered drives for self-realisation through entrepreneurial discourses of work and their pressured articulation to coping strategies which bypass the potential for collective co-operation raised by second-wave feminism. It argues that neoliberal meritocratic discourse has been extended through the contemporary moment of capitalist crisis using a trope term 'desperate success'. The chapter considers what mumpreneurialism reveals about the gendering of entrepreneurialism. It describes the specificity of the contemporary 'post-post-Fordist' conjunction between gender and enterprise by following the mumpreneur online and discussing its relationship to self-branding.