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Biography & Abstract
Vera Haataja

Vera has recently defended her doctoral thesis in entrepreneurship at Aalto University School of Business. Her work theorizes social and individual change through entrepreneurship and its potential to create more just societies in terms of empowerment, emancipation and entrepreneurial responsibility.

Re-thinking the promise of emancipatory entrepreneurship – Critical reflections on the OnlyFans platform

Emancipatory entrepreneurship assumes empowering and emancipatory potential of entrepreneurship. However empowerment and emancipation have remained vague terms in entrepreneurship literature that tends to give primacy to agency and overlook the influence of social structure. In this essay I take sociologically informed perspective to clarify how entrepreneurship may be empowering and emancipatory. Using an agency-structure perspective enables to consider the reciprocal relationship between entrepreneurship and its context and avoids an overemphasis on agency itself. This is illustrated through the example of platform economy, a contemporary tool for generating entrepreneurial opportunities and liberating technology of power that enables workers to take control of their own livelihoods while possibly steering them into subordination. In particular, I reflect this tension through OnlyFans, a digital patronage platform that entrepreneurially empowers and emancipates sex workers whilst constraining them through the stigma attached to their work and subordination to the platform.

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