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The New Entrepreneurs: How Race, Class, and Gender Shape American Enterprise

by Zulema Valdez

For many entrepreneurs, the American Dream remains only partially fulfilled. Unequal outcomes between the middle and lower classes, men and women, and Latino/as, whites, and blacks highlight continuing inequalities and constraints within American society. With a focus on a diverse group of Latino entrepreneurs, this book explores how class, gender, race, and ethnicity all shape Latino entrepreneurs' capacity to succeed in business in the United States. Bringing intersectionality into conversation with theories of ethnic entrepreneurship, Zulema Valdez considers how various factors create, maintain, and transform the social and economic lives of Latino entrepreneurs. While certain group identities may impose unequal, if not discriminatory, starting positions, membership in these same social groups can provide opportunities to mobilize resources together. Valdez reveals how Latino entrepreneurs-as members of oppressed groups on the one hand, yet "rugged individualists" striving for the American Dream on the other-work to recreate their own positions within American society.

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