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Gentrification and the Enterprise CultureBritain 1780-1980$
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F. M. L. Thompson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243303

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243303.001.0001

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Entrepreneurial Culture and the Culture of Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurial Culture and the Culture of Entrepreneurs

(p.75) 4 Entrepreneurial Culture and the Culture of Entrepreneurs
Gentrification and the Enterprise Culture


Oxford University Press

After examining different senses in which the concepts of the enterprise culture and the industrial spirit have been employed it is argued that the version that portrays the single-minded pursuit of profit and the accumulation of wealth as their essential ingredients is a polemical weapon of radical critics of industrialisation and philistinism, and does not fit the actual behaviour and values of the most prominent and successful British businessmen. One group of successful businessmen who acquired landed estates did indeed withdraw from business, and their families and descendants were assimilated into the landed aristocracy and gentry, so that in their case gentrification did result in abandonment of an enterprise culture. For another group, however, acquisition of landed estates far from ending involvement in business may well have reinvigorated the industrial spirit for it led to the founding of business dynasties which in some cases have now lasted for four or more generations. This group has been called an aristocratic bourgeoisie, and while its best known members come from banking, finance, and brewing, it is shown also to be found in many branches of industry and trade.

Keywords:   enterprise culture, industrial spirit, gentrification, businessmen, aristocratic bourgeoisie, banking, brewing

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