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ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS  May 2019

ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS May 2019

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Subject:

New book: Encountering Entrepreneurs. An Ethnography of the Construction Business in the North of Italy

From:

Elena Sischarenco <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Elena Sischarenco <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 2 May 2019 15:17:16 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (123 lines)

 My new book is out!

ENCOUNTERING ENTREPRENEURS: AN ETHNOGRAPHY OF THE CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS IN
THE NORTH OF ITALY.

*This book shows the daily life of businessmen in a particularly productive
area of Northern Italy, Lombardy. It provides insights into their business,
entrepreneurialism, and of them as individuals, allowing the reader to
immerse themselves in these businessmen’s world, full of plans, ideas,
hopes, and failures in the struggle to survive during a time of economic
recession. *

The book is now available for purchase with a 20% discount if you order it
through   https://www.cambridgescholars.com/encountering-entrepreneurs –
use the discount code CONSTRUCTION20

For anyone interested to *review it*, please contact me directly with the
name of the journal and I will arrange for a copy to be sent.



“The book is a real novelty in the scenario of Italian social anthropology.
Elena Sischarenco explores the fragmented world of little- and medium-size
companies in the construction business in the province of Bergamo,
following the entrepreneurs, winning their resistance, and obtaining their
- sometimes unconditioned – trust. The accurate and very detailed
ethnographic accounts stop on the individuals, on their personalities, on
the small and global daily difficulties they have to face to make their
business survive in a world in permanent economic crisis. The book is a
novelty because this specific professional world is rather discreet and
inaccessible, therefore seldom investigated with ethnographic tools, but
also because the author shares the geographic origin with most of her
informants, a biographical detail that gives her a privileged access to
their “dialects and background knowledge”, qualities otherwise difficult to
gain in an accurate way. The book is also an unafraid exploration of the
“blurred borders between what is considered to be illegal and what it is
not”, a crucial crossroad in every company ethical profile. Sischarenco’s
analysis is always passionate and involved. She never “takes the distance”
from her field, she doesn’t even try, which makes her book even more
convincing and powerful."


*Elena BougleuxProfessor of Cultural Anthropology, University of Bergamo,
Italy *

“[This book is] a brilliant and unconventional ethnography of the
entrepreneur and their consuming identity”


*Jonathan SkinnerReader in Social Anthropology, University of Roehampton,
UK *

“Elena Sischarenco provides a unique ethnographic account of contemporary
entrepreneurialism: how small businesses survive in the world of Italian
construction. Through her sensitive reportage, we witness the careful
calculations of trust, friendship and familism, the competition for
tenders, and how knowledge and apprenticeship, power, personality and
fragility figure in the struggle for success.”


*Nigel RapportAuthor of I Am Dynamite: An Alternative Anthropology of Power
*

"I found the book to be a very original and well written piece of work. In
her book, Elena explored issues of morality, ethics, and social change and
their relationship with the lives of entrepreneurs living in the Bergamo’s
province of Northern Italy. The main theoretical thrust of the book is that
these entrepreneurs do not represent an ‘Italian’ or more precisely
‘Bergamasca’ way of being entrepreneurs. On the contrary, these
entrepreneurs are individuals, unique in their own ways, but sharing
similar understanding of what it means to be entrepreneurs with other
entrepreneurs in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. In order to illustrate this
complex balance between the individuals and the social Elena’s book richly
weave her theoretical analysis with the views and personalities of the
entrepreneurs through the use of direct quotes and insightful dialogues.
This approach makes her ethnography rich in details and very enjoyable to
read. Furthermore, her research sheds a new light on taken for granted
assumptions about corruption and tender practices in Italy that would be of
interest not only to anthropologists but more generally to policy makers
working in Italy and elsewhere. This is also a very poignant account that
enriches the book further. Against well accepted narrative of the unethical
and amoral and immoral practices of Italian entrepreneurs in the
construction business, Elena’s book brought to bear the ways in which
morality and ethics shape the experience and lives of these entrepreneurs.
The book shows convincingly how, in being aware of these discourses, the
entrepreneurs go to great length to fashion themselves in an ethical and
moral light. In this respect Elena’s work is timely as it brings to the
fore the process of entrepreneurial ethical self-making in a time of wider
economic and political transformations in Italy and elsewhere."


*Mattia FumantiLecturer in Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews,
UK *



*Dr Elena Sischarenco*
*Associate at the St Andrews Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies*

*Department of Social AnthropologyUniversity of St Andrews**, UK*

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