Chapter 6 Gendered understandings of innovation in nursing and entrepreneurship: an exploratory study in the Portuguese context
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Nowadays, innovation is being associated with the service sector. Such a trend leads the authors of this chapter to question how gendered discourses are used to define innovation by a group of entrepreneurs in nursing care. These two practices are constituted by different gender meanings: nursing is considered to have a feminine nature and to be almost exclusively a female-dominated occupation; entrepreneurship is considered a masculine practice and is traditionally associated with men. Based on the content analysis of interviews with nurse-entrepreneurs, the chapter demonstrates how innovation can be inscribed in feminine meanings such as ‘caring’ and ‘nurturing’, and related to new ways of ‘service delivery’. However, these new conceptions of innovation are presented as gender-neutral. The chapter reflects upon how such an understanding of innovation can contribute to challenging or reproducing gender inequality.

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