Economic empathy in family entrepreneurship: Mexican-origin street vendor children and their parents

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Abstract

Research on ethnic entrepreneurship has shown that children of immigrants may experience an economic advantage associated with their entrepreneurial parents’ ‘modes of incorporation’ – the individual, group, and structural opportunities and characteristics that facilitate entrepreneurial participation and consequent economic progress. This ethnographic study examines street vending as a family enterprise and finds that the entrepreneurial, but nevertheless, disadvantaged Latino street vending parents experience economic stagnation. Child street vendors in this study experience compounded disadvantages stemming from their parents’ social locations rooted in unauthorized status, informal work, and stigma, as working together shortens the distance between ‘adulthood’ and ‘childhood’. Yet, street vending also sets the stage for children to develop economic empathy, a resiliency that results from experiencing their parent's position of oppression that helps prevent an authority shift in favour of the children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 17 2016

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Keywords

  • childhood
  • Ethnic entrepreneurship
  • family–work relations
  • informal work
  • Latino immigrant youth
  • street vending

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Anthropology

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