S.M. (S M) Musa MSc
PhD Track Making a Life on the Margins: An Ethnographic Account from the Kutupalong Refugee Camp
In my three-paper dissertation, I study the socio-economic life of Rohingya refugees living in the world’s largest refugee camp, the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. Over the last four years, I have conducted extended ethnography and collected both qualitative and quantitative data to understand how some Rohingya refugees navigate marginalization and organize their lives in an extremely deleterious institutional context. As I could observe the evolution of the camp and camp life for an extended period, in my theorizing I have taken a processual view and have applied a grounded theory approach and both abductive-inductive reasonings in my theorizing. Put together, reporting the findings from an extreme context, my dissertation papers further our understanding of identity, institutions, and entrepreneurship on the margins.
In my first paper I explore how self-organizing (e.g., organizing economic, social, religious and creative spaces) becomes instrumental to survive in continuous adversity and extreme uncertainties. Through the emerging concept - identity bootstrapping, in this paper I, along with my co-authors Pursey Heugens and Luca Berchicci, advance our understanding how people become more than mere ‘subject’ in a resource and identity constrained environment and the critical roles informal collective organizing plays in shaping individual identities and resilience. In the second paper of my dissertation, I delve into the topic of entrepreneurship on the margins and explore its role in shaping social structures. By theorizing entrepreneurship-led endemic institutions, which are emerging localized institutions that shape lives of the people living nearby locations, my co-authors Pursey Heugens and Katrin Smolka and I refuel the discussion on the value and power of entrepreneurship-led ‘social space’, especially of ‘bazaar’, in shaping inclusion-exclusion pattern in a community, contributing primarily to the emerging literature on necessity entrepreneurship, social space, located institutions and inclusion-exclusion literature.
Lastly, in my third dissertation paper, I explore livelihood choices of the refugees: particularly, when they choose entrepreneurship and if entrepreneurship helps them alleviate their necessities. For this project, I have created a micro-census panel of 5,000 Rohingya households. This is one of the first datasets that can systematically map past livelihood conditions of a forcibly displaced group, their present livelihood options and how they choose one. This project will help us better understand the decision processes behind livelihood choices on the margins of society and how those choices affect the necessity alleviating efforts, particularly, of the entrepreneurs. With my coauthors (Luca Berchicci and Pursey Heugens), I am currently finalizing the first draft of the paper and expect to contribute to the emerging literature on necessity entrepreneurs and their socio-economic behaviors.
- Entrepreneurship on the Margins, Social Change, Inclusion-Exclusion, Endemic (Located) Institutions, Identity
- Time frame
- 2018 -
Conference proceeding (5)
Musa, SM. (Accepted/In press). How Necessity Entrepreneurship Shapes Social Structure and Inclusion: An Ethnographic Account from Bangladesh’s Kutupalong Refugee Camp. In Proceedings of the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Boston, August 4-8, 2023
Musa, SM. (Accepted/In press). What if Tomorrow Never Comes? Chimeric Agency and Total Institutions in the Postmodern Era. In Proceedings of the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Boston, August 5-8, 2023
Musa, SM. (2022). Does Necessity Entrepreneurship Really Alleviate Necessity? An Abductive Study of Entrepreneurial Activities in the Kutupalong Refugee Camp. In Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, proceedings of the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Baylor, Texas, June 1-4, 2022.
Musa, SM. (2022). Social Inclusion through Necessity Entrepreneurship: An Ethnographic Account. In Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, proceedings of the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Baylor, Texas, June 1-4, 2022.
Musa, SM. (2021). Life in Limbo: Identity Bootstrapping in a Refugee Camp. In Proceedings of the Academy of Management Annual Meeting (virtual), August 3-7, 2021. (Vol. 2021) https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2021.14892abstract
Working paper (4)
Musa, SM. (2023). Enacting Social Inclusion and Exclusion through Necessity Entrepreneurship: An Ethnographic Account from Kutupalong.
Musa, SM. (2023). Making a Life on the Margins: An Ethnographic Theory of Identity Bootstrapping in a Total Institution. Advance online publication.
Musa, SM. (2023). Does Necessity Entrepreneurship Really Alleviate Necessity? An Abductive Study. Advance online publication.
Musa, SM. (2023). What if Tomorrow Never Comes? Chimeric Agency and Total Institutions in the Postmodern Era.
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