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Biography & Abstract
Robert Eberhart

Robert is an Associate Professor and Faculty Director at the University of San Diego, USA. His research focuses on the influence of institutional change on entrepreneurship, what drives institutional change, and the effect of those changes on the types of ventures that are founded and their performance.

Entrepreneurialism and the Acceptance of Inequality: What caused it, what keeps it going, and what to do about it?

We take up Thomas Piketty’s challenge to uncover the ideology that underpins and facilitates acceptance of social inequality. To accomplish this, we update Reinhard Bendix's (1956) idea to capture an emergent entrepreneurial ideology that, similar to Bendix's workplace ideology, is a new social ideology that stabilizes our social order by making it acceptable to celebrate individual attributes of wealth while accepting precarious employment and holding out hope that they might themselves be an entrepreneurial success. By diffusing these beliefs because they serve the interests of everyone, this new entrepreneurial ideology explains and creates a justification for social inequality. Attributing wealth to individual actions rather than social attributes establishes a narrative that makes it more challenging to address the systemic factors contributing to inequality. Moreover, suggesting that the disadvantaged are responsible for their fate justifies the growing wealth divide worldwide.

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