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The Role of Work in Personal Identity


Author Info

  • Hélène Garner

    (DARES )

  • Dominique Méda

    (PSE and Université Paris IV )

  • Claudia Senik



The Life Story (Histoire de vie) survey highlights the role of work amongst the various constituent elements of personal identity and the relative importance people give it in their own identity. Although 40% of those questioned and 54% of the labour force consider work to be one of the three elements that best defines them, it comes in second place far behind family. Two thirds of people in employment state that work is quite important, but not as important as other things: work seems to be in competition with other activities, areas of life and values. There seem to be two factors at work: one is linked to work and to working conditions, which notably helps to explain the withdrawal of intermediaries, white-collar workers and blue-collar workers, whilst the other is linked to life outside of work, which highlights the conflict between professional life and family life, particularly for women.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques in its journal Economie et Statistique.

Volume (Year): 393-394 (2006)
Issue (Month): (November)
Pages: 21-40

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Handle: RePEc:crs:ecosta:es393-394c

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Related research

Keywords: Family Life and Professional Life Conciliation; Work Identity; Job Satisfaction; Gender; Migrants Workers;

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  1. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Alain Chenu, 2002. "Les horaires et l'organisation du temps de travail," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, Programme National Persée, vol. 352(1), pages 151-167.
  4. Alain Chenu & Nicolas Herpin, 2002. "Une pause dans la marche vers la civilisation des loisirs ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, Programme National Persée, vol. 352(1), pages 15-37.
  5. Isabelle Ville & France Guérin-Pace, 2005. "Interroger les identités : l'élaboration d'une enquête en France," Population (french edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 60(3), pages 277-305.
  6. Michel Glaude & Jean-Louis Dayan & Annick Echardour, 1996. "Le parcours professionnel des immigrés en France : une analyse longitudinale," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, Programme National Persée, vol. 299(1), pages 107-128.
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