Towards a sociology of the border-entrepreneur
Creation and diffusion of a programme for the prevention of obesity
This paper aims to contribute to the literature on the role of entrepreneurs in social and institutional change. Having described the types of « intermediary-entrepreneurs » and « translator-entrepreneurs » which have previously been identified in sociology, the authors propose a third type, that of the « border-entrepreneur » defined as an actor at the border of closed universes and acting as both border-object, and border-guard. The study of the creation of a French programme for the prevention of childhood obesity helps to identify some of its promoters as border-entrepreneurs. The paper shows that these promoters have extended their self-presentations to fit into a world of multiple institutional boundaries and conflicts. By adopting the symmetrical point of view the programme’s partners, the authors show that their recruitment was based on a series of projections and selective appropriations about the identity of the promoters of the programme and the actions that were developed.