ABSTRACT

The value of a particular theoretical model on social reality can be judged in terms of its objectivity, coherence, or, in pragmatic sense, as a means to reduce social complexity. What absolute value post-structural discourse theory may have to off er in elucidating the social construction of entrepreneur, and whether it ought to be preferred to other models of reality, must remain beyond the scope of possible discussion in this chapter. Post-structural discourse theory is applied as a heuristic means to understand a complex social reality, and social subjects make sense of themselves and their own reality. In accordance with the ontological position of relativism, the researchers’ empirical observations are limited by the epistemological limitations of the applied theoretical framework (Fuchs 2001; Marttila 2010b). One possible way of dealing with the epistemic relativism of scientifi c inquiry is to adapt the methodological position of refl exive methodology and explicate the theoretical bias of research itself and, therewith, facilitate its critical reading. However, in order to achieve this inter-subjective transparency, research must start with defi ning its ontological and theoretical point of departure and thereafter “produce, out of its own interiority, both its object and its method” (Derrida 2004: 36). The post-structural discourse theory “enables us . . . to analyze social relations and processes, while remaining faithful to our ontological commitments” (Glynos and Howarth 2007: 111). For this reason, the discourse-theoretical conception of reality must be interpreted in a manner that grants re-observation of theoretical concepts in observed empirical objects (cf. Diaz-Bone 2006b, 2007: 34). Instruments of observation must be developed from theory, and empirical objects observed must be re-traced and re-located within the theoretically defi ned and limited realm of knowledge. In such a manner, empirical research implicates constant “refl exive realization” of social theory in empirical analysis (DiazBone 2006b: 243ff ; 2007: 39).