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Structuration, community context, and political mobilization among different entrepreneurial types: the "centro velho" of São Paulo and Sorocaba cases

Abstract

Despite the growing emphasis on the relationship between entrepreneurs and their social context, there is little research that looks at ways which entrepreneurs react to and shape the communities in which they operate. There is almost no research on how entrepreneurs participate in the political life of their communities, especially in Brazil. The present proposal seeks to extend the author's participation in former research on entrepreneurial types and community development to consider the relation between entrepreneurship, political mobilization and community development in the old downtown region of São Paulo and Sorocaba, Brazil. Earlier research suggested that differences in community context favor the emergence of different types of entrepreneurs, who in turn impact the development of the community in very different ways. These different types featured different business strategies and favored very different approaches to the economic and social development of the community. This earlier study noted that the degree of political motivation and involvement of different types varied significantly, but did not look into the particulars of their political and collective involvement. By extending this research to downtown areas of large industrial metropoles in São Paulo and focusing on community mobilization and involvement, we stand to gain greater practical and theoretical insight into the role entrepreneurs can play in community development and revitalization. (AU)

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