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The Biggest Investment: the myth of American entrepreneurship


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Osonjački, Vedran. (2016). The Biggest Investment: the myth of American entrepreneurship. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature
Department of Sociology. [mentor Grgas, Stipe and Lažnjak, Jasminka].

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It is a firm and generally accepted standpoint that the American entrepreneurs constitute the backbone or the economic core that enabled the creation of the American economic system. This standpoint, as we will demonstrate in this academic paper, has its historical genesis. Its foundation are the representations of American entrepreneurship, that were manifested in political documents, literature, science, through cinematography and pop culture, and became a distinguishing and integral part of American culture. The success of the American economy enabled this image to become the framework for the historical narrative that created a mythical phenomenon, transformed the American entrepreneur into an archetype. This interweaving of literature, historical fiction, science and politics is the key of understanding this myth, and at the same time, the main reason of why it is so difficult to take it out of discourse and analyze it. The myth of American entrepreneurship has endured the test of time. Literary form or the medium that carries it is simply a question of technological development. The elements of this myth are the representations of the business organization, working habits, and attitudes that prevail in the American (economic) society. The common motives or elements of the myth are, for example, the representations of the work ethic and the virtues of Americans, their prudence, or the success of entrepreneurs, the avant-garde of the American economy, Yuppie culture, or the omnipresent phrases: The success myth, rags to riches or the American dream. In other words, these representations were ideals that the individuals should pursue. In this way, the myth has grown into an ideological tool. The ideology was needed to incorporate the population, especially the new immigrants, into U.S. economy. It is important to comprehend a myth as a phenomenon that is not false or deceitful, but a phenomenon that distorts reality, converts reality into speech, modifies reality to serve a given purpose. Myths always have firm correlations with social reality, or to be more precise, the myths are created to accomplish a desirable social goal, realize social ideals. The myth of American entrepreneurship has served its social and economic purpose. Its effects have enabled it to become an essential element of American culture and a powerful, globally recognized phenomenon.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: entrepreneurship, American myth, economic representations, American business, the American way
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Department of Sociology
Supervisor: Grgas, Stipe and Lažnjak, Jasminka
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2016 10:40
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2016 10:40

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