Friday, 28 December 2012

Work, narrative identity and social affiliation

an article by Karen Foster (Saint Mary’s University, Canada) published in Work Employment & Society Volume 26 Number 6 (December 2012)


Sociologists of work have been drawn into a conversation over work’s significance as a source of identity and social affiliation – ‘needs’ which, according to late modern theorists, are increasingly fulfilled in multiple other realms.

This article enters this exchange by foregrounding the epistemological puzzle of how we can ‘know’ identity and social affiliation in narratives. As a provisional solution, Jenkins’s concepts of identification and categorisation are brought into contact with Marks and Thompson’s emphasis on interests and identities and operationalised through Somers’ concepts of narrative identity, employment and categorisation in an analysis of qualitative interviews with 52 working people and former workers in Canada.

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