Robert Browne
Spee 633

Abstract 2 – Topic 2

APA Citation:
Boyle, R., Magor, M. (2008). A nation of entrepreneurs? Television, social change, and the rise of the entrepreneur. International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, 4, 125-144.

The article I selected views technology and business from a different approach. I also thought it would be interesting to select an article from a different culture. Boyle, Magor (2008) viewed the change in television broadcasting and other media outlets in the United Kingdom. The authors argue that entrepreneurship, and the values of entrepreneurs, are getting a lot more attention throughout the media in the United Kingdom. The authors use interviews, and previous publications to show how the media has changed and altered the concept of entrepreneur.
In the past, business personnel and entrepreneurs have usually been represented as suspicious characters. Over the last decade this stereotype is not nearly as prevalent on television. The authors show that in certain show types, such as crime drama, business individuals will often still be represented as corrupt individuals, but this is a necessary function for those types of shows. The opposite is true for soap operas. Often times characters in soap operas are entrepreneurs or work for small businesses. This allows for relationship building and conflict. Boyle, Magor (2008) argue that there is an increase in docu-soaps, and reality television with an emphasis on business and entrepreneurs.
The authors discussed with individuals that work in media how the industry had casted a shadow over business and entrepreneurs throughout the 70’s and 80’s. Business wasn’t not to be trusted because business sought to exploit individuals for profit.
Once the 90’s hit, a different approach to social class was being viewed. A focus on the individual and not the state was emphasized. The idea that power and wealth were open and accessible to all was starting to be seen. The individual became the catalyst for a social movement towards social classlessness in which the playing field was leveled for anyone interested in stepping into the market. Entrepreneurs were being categorized as young, smart, and “cool”. With the dot com boom, the image of the entrepreneur also was being shifted. Entrepreneurs were individuals that desired the ability to configure and run an organization the way the individual wanted to. Corporate culture was often seeing as a dying breed in the 90’s, both in the UK and the USA. By the year 2000 being an entrepreneur was considered desirable and this is shown through television broadcasts. Businesses and business personalities were being highlighted in the news, and the change to “demand” television forced broadcast companies to attract attention. This was done with use of documentaries and reality television which saw a boom in broadcasting during the mid to late 90’s and has steadily continued as time has passed.
The influence of these broadcasts has been huge. Enterprise and entrepreneurs are viewed as positive mechanisms with the capabilities to be successful and help the economy as a whole. Statistically, Britain has not seen a large increase in the amount of entrepreneurs since the media change, but the need for the entrepreneur is still there and the message is being sent out to individuals all across the country. If this is a sustainable endeavor is a question that Boyle, Magor (2008)bring up in the conclusion of the article. The government and media are doing what it can to stress the importance and role of entrepreneurship within the “new and creative economy”. Others argue that this is just a mask to hide the increasing debt of the nation, and the nation’s dependency on service industries. Regardless of what might occur in the future, media has shown it has the ability to shape our social and cultural attitudes towards business and enterprise. Whether or not this will change the economy in the long run and evolve the United Kingdom into a nation of entrepreneurs remains to be unseen, but according to the authors the public can at least see that it is possible to become an entrepreneur if they choose to.