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Weibliche Solo-Selbstständigkeit zwischen Notwendigkeit und Innovationsherausforderung: Beobachtungen über Geschlecht und Unternehmertum in Deutschland

Bögenhold, Dieter and Fachinger, Uwe (2013): Weibliche Solo-Selbstständigkeit zwischen Notwendigkeit und Innovationsherausforderung: Beobachtungen über Geschlecht und Unternehmertum in Deutschland.

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Abstract

The paper combines conceptual thoughts on the development of self-employment within stratified modern societies with empirical reflections based on public census data for Germany. Talk about the rise and future of self-employment must be linked to the discussion about changes in the structure of occupations, labour markets and regulations. The more or less steady increase of the service sector as well as the continuous rise of the liberal professions mirror changes within the category of self-employment. All different items are embedded into a general trend of a growing knowledge society.

A fundamental question is how gender matters when investigating these trends. Do we find specific “gender patterns” within recent developments of an increasing expansion of self-employment e.g. in Germany, or will the new chances and risks lead to a greater equality of opportunities? Is the increase of solo-self-employment of females driven by the need to earn a living, or is it the result of females taking the risk e.g. to become more economically independent?

Prima facie, we learn to acknowledge that the rise of self-employment is mostly supported by the rise of micro-firms and solo-self-employment, of which especially solo-self-employment is a female domain. The independent liberal professions also indicate a significant revival of female labour. The research tries to delve deeper into the different segments of the employment system and to connect empirical findings with the theoretical discussion on professional groups in modern capitalist societies. One basic question is whether female solo-self-employment is primarily driven by necessity in order to take part in the labour market or if those emerging activities reflect new innovative modes of labour market integration and reveal new opportunities and markets which are, in wide parts, especially due to the development of the service and health care sector.

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