Social entrepreneurs narrating their careers: A psychodynamic-existential perspective

Hila Cohen, Hagai Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This study aims to improve our understanding of social entrepreneurs’ careers through narrative analysis of their life stories. Narratives are an important part of the study of career-related transitions, as they form, revise, and reconstruct identities, and drive agency. For this purpose, 24 in-depth semi-structured narrative interviews were conducted with Israeli social entrepreneurs. The findings point out a process which takes place in different spheres and moulds the life story of a social entrepreneur: the personality sphere; the family sphere, including family dynamics and significant childhood experiences; the social sphere, including formative events outside the family; and the moral sphere, which includes attitudes and ideologies. The entirety of spheres generates a consistent meta-narrative which promotes a theoretical integration between psychoanalytical and existential psychological theories and offers a deeper understanding of how and why people become social entrepreneurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
Number of pages11
JournalAustralian Journal of Career Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Social entrepreneurs
  • career development
  • existential theory
  • narrative identity
  • psychoanalytic theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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