Documenting Essex‐Boy as a local gendered regime

Robert Smith (Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK)

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1756-6266

Publication date: 20 June 2013



As a social construct, entrepreneurship is portrayed as an unashamedly masculine endeavour. This forms the basis for much feminist research in entrepreneurship. Despite a sustained research effort in the field of gendered entrepreneurship research this polarised viewpoint remains under researched from the perspective of masculinity. Rather than perpetuate the polarity this short article aims to consider the concept of gendered entrepreneurial regimes as an explanatory variable.


Using documentary analysis techniques this article seeks to document the existence of a particular gendered local regime in the form of “Essex‐Boy culture”.


The findings although tentative indicate that as a recognised gendered local regime Essex‐Boy identity manifests itself physically at a conceptual, gendered, geographic, community and cultural level. Semiotically it can be expressed as a legitimate business identity, a criminal identity, a celebrity status, a political identity, as parody, caricature and as metaphor. It can be expressed as an ideology, a doxa, class position, a culture or as an initiating dream. It also exists at a narrative level via memoires, biographies, jokes or scripted insult.

Research limitations/implications

Given that this is a preliminary study based on secondary documents there is clearly scope for other studies to be conducted into this interesting phenomenon.

Social implications

The study has implications for what can be legitimately studied under the rubric of gendered entrepreneurial research.


This study is original in its exclusive use of documentary research/analysis to uncover gendered aspects of an under studied entrepreneurial regime.



Robert Smith (2013) "Documenting Essex‐Boy as a local gendered regime", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 174-197

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