Becoming oneself through trials: a framework for identity work research
AbstractThis paper aims to offer a new way to think and to study identity work in relation with organizational identity regulation attempts and a deeper understanding of both the several facets of materiality of identity work and the agency/structure interplays in this process. The current growing body of studies about identity work is useful to understand how the self become. However, these studies encounter some limits, especially the lack of contextualization of individuals‘ identity work vis-à-vis broader cultural and social structures and their organizational diffraction or the overemphasis on discourses at the expense of other identity resources, whereof material artefacts and embodied practices. To overcome these limits, this paper intends to offer a framework based on the concept of trials designed by the French sociologist Danilo Martuccelli, which are ‗historical challenges, socially produced, culturally represented, unequally distributed, that individuals must face‘ (Araujo and Martuccelli, 2010:8). I argue that when facing an identity trial, an organizational member measure himself and this can be a useful framework to think identity work and to overtake the limits underlined above. Methodological implications of this perspective – identity trials as analytical lens to study identity work – are further discussed.
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Identity regulation; Trials; Identity work;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
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