Young entrepreneurs in times of uncertainty and accelerated optimism: an ethnological study of entrepreneurship and ethics of young people in modern-day Slovenia

fundamental research project
Basic Info


The project is devised as ethnographic research of young people, economy, and ethics in modern-day Slovenia. The young entrepreneur in Slovenia, will be analysed as a historical subject in specific contemporary frameworks of (trans)national society, the economy, the media, public opinion and ethics, and as the creator of youth culture with a corresponding ethical stance. Until recently, the (self)attribution “young entrepreneur” was not used in Slovenia, but today it is widely used in public and professional discourse. Ever more young people form their socio-cultural visibility and identify with this category. We understand young entrepreneurs as ethical persons, therefore our study addresses the processes of personal (self)constructing and the factors directing individuals towards entrepreneurial activity and shaping what is supposedly their own corresponding culture, which effects the wider Slovenian society. These factors include education at various levels, mass- and social media, as well as newly established institutions and social spaces for stimulating entrepreneurship present today in all Slovenian regions. From a historical perspective, the recent economic and moral crisis, which included youth unemployment, was an influential factor, though it also prompted thoughts and measures, which stimulated youth entrepreneurship. Our research project addresses this phenomenon in the tradition of ethnological studies of livelihood strategies and practices.

Project steps

Preparation (months 1–6): Familiarising with pre-existing research in Slovenia and abroad. Creating an overview of the supporting environment (media, education, state institutions etc.). Every two months, the project team will meet at reading seminars, where members will discuss literature, and link the thereby comprehended concepts and insights with their own research.

Fieldwork research and discourse analysis (months 7–26): Fieldwork on various locations, i.e. in Ljubljana and Maribor and selected smaller Slovenian towns (Dr Kozorog, Dr Simonič, Dr Kravanja, Ličen). Fieldwork in primary and secondary schools (Dr Poljak Istenič). Discourse analysis of expert, academic and media narratives on young entrepreneur and an analysis of gender (Dr Bajuk Senčar). Historical comparison of newly produced and older materials (Dr Fikfak). Liaising with university incubators and finding ways for exchange of knowledge and dissemination of research (Dr Podjed). Simultaneously, student-led research will run at the University of Ljubljana (Dr Kozorog, Dr Simonič, Dr Kravanja, Dr Podjed). Mid-project, a joint workshop for researchers and studied entrepreneurs, which will enable a transparent comparison of entrepreneurs, their methods and goals, and the environments in which they operate.

Dissemination and popularisation (months 27–36): At the start of this phase, an international seminar will be organised, to which researchers from abroad will be invited. Fieldwork will be in the finalizing phase. Finalization of publications for print. Participation at conferences and symposia. Collaboration with outside scientists, media, and policy implementers with a view to disseminate results outside the realm of ethnology and science.


Miha Kozorog has (during preparation of the project) published a project related article The Ecosystem Ideal and Local Neoliberalism of the Young Entrepreneur: The Millennialsʼ Entrepreneurial Environment in Slovenia (Etnološka tribina 48: 259-280). Read


KOZOROG, Miha (2019): Trije časi podjetništva mladih v Sloveniji. (Glasnik SED 59 (2): 19-32). Read: kozorog_trije_casi_podjetnistva_mladih_v_sloveniji.pdf

PODJED, Dan (2019): Snovanje prihodnosti antropologije. (Etnolog 29/80: 15-33). Read.


Miha Kozorog je v času epidemije Covid-19 s študenti etnologije in kulturne antropologije raziskoval modalnosti čakanja - študentske refleksije časa v samoizolaciji si lahko preberite:

  1. Študentski dnevnik
  2. Virus, kolona in potica
  3. Sprehod
  4. Karantenizem
  5. Zakaj čakam, ko pogrešam
  6. Druženje
  7. Nedelja popoldne
  8. Med svobodo in občutkom krivde
  9. Začetek novega ali starega življenja?
  10. Med Metelkovo in Orto Barom
  11. Vzdrževanje pozitivnega pogleda
  12. Med jezo in nirvano
  13. Čakanje na odgovor


Mladost v duhu kapitalizma danes (znanstveni simpozij, 12. 11. 2020)
Knjižica povzetkov:
Rezultat sodelovanja s študenti Oddelka za etnologijo in kulturno antropologijo FF UL:
Benak Cvijanović, Vanessa in Rene Dopler (2020): Podjetništvo v šolskih klopeh: etnografija spodbujanja podjetniške kreativnosti na šoli v Novem
mestu. (Glasnik SED 60 (2): 30-41.) Beri: benak-dopler_podjetniki_v_solskih_klopeh.pdf

Coming of Age as Entrepreneurs: Biopolitics and Ethics of Youth in Modern-Day Economies (panel na mednarodni konferenci IUAES 2020) - Read,                         iuaes_2021_book-of-abstracts.pdf

Uncertain Times and the Optimism of Affordances (Glasnik SED 61/2). Read: Kozorog_Uncertain Times and the Optimism of Affordances_0.pdf

(Glasnik SED 61/2).

accelerated optimism
livelihood practices
young people
ethics and morality

Research areas
Cultural anthropology, ethnology S220