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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Sophie Hennekam and Dawn Bennett

The purpose of this paper is to examine artists’ experiences of involuntary career transitions and its impact on their work-related identities.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine artists’ experiences of involuntary career transitions and its impact on their work-related identities.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews with 40 artists in the Netherlands were conducted. Self-narratives were used to analyze the findings.

Findings

Artists who can no longer make a living out of their artistic activities are forced to start working outside the creative realm and are gradually pushed away from the creative industries. This loss of their creative identity leads to psychological stress and grief, making the professional transition problematic. Moreover, the artistic community often condemns an artist’s transition to other activities, making the transition psychologically even more straining.

Originality/value

This study provides in-depth insights into how artists deal with changes in their work-related identities in the light of involuntary career transitions.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 45 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2019

Samantha Reveley

Purpose – The transition into motherhood is a major life course event for most women, and is one that can be fraught with difficulties due to the uncertainty and…

Abstract

Purpose – The transition into motherhood is a major life course event for most women, and is one that can be fraught with difficulties due to the uncertainty and instability which accompanies it. Previous research has explored what factors interplay within this transition with identity changes being considered a key attribute. By using assemblage theory, this study aims to undertake an innovative approach to conceptualising identity. Assemblage theory permitted an exploration of how an identity comes to be assembled and embodied through a mother’s relationality with the social world around her as opposed to merely exploring identity as a static entity of a fixed, organic whole as has predominantly been done previously. Assemblage theory is premised upon understanding processes of becoming as opposed to states of being and as such takes a machinic approach to understanding wholes. Rather than being organic totalities, they are conceptualised as being transient and fluid entities comprising an amalgamation of interchangeable components which collectively stabilise to make up the whole. At times of change, an individual’s ties to an identity undergo deterritorialisation, or weaken, as their sense of self and identity readjusts before then experiencing reterritorialisation once they (re)established their ties to a new identity or role. By conceptualising the mothers as assemblages in this manner, it became possible to understand how the women reconstructed their selves and identities through the situated practices and experiences in their everyday lives as they established ties to their new role as a mother.

Methodology/Approach – Results are presented from biographical narrative interviews with 10 mothers each at different stages in motherhood. The interviews focussed on inducing uninterrupted narratives detailing the lived experiences of these women as they transitioned into and across motherhood. These interviews highlighted key stages in the transition into motherhood where a woman’s identity and sense of self would become destabilised and reformulated as a result of changes in her everyday lived experiences and routines.

FindingsTransitioning into motherhood proved to be a multifaceted process that comprises numerous stages where the new mothers identities would become unstable and deterritorialise as they faced new routines in their everyday life as they became a mother and settled into the role. Four dominant themes emerged during data analysis; emotional turmoil, the reconstruction of relationships, getting comfortable with their baby as well as rediscovering the self. The women largely experienced emotional turmoil as their identities became deterritorialised and reported that the relationships they held with others around them often changed or broke down entirely. It was not until they became comfortable with their baby and their role as a mother that they were able to rediscover their ‘self’ beyond simply being a mother. Once they reached this stage in the transition their identity was able to reterritorialise, becoming more stable as a result.

Originality/Value – This study not only presents an innovative method for conceptualising identity but also demonstrates the value of assemblage theory for conceptualising identity formulation and capturing the fluid and emergent nature of such processes. It demonstrates how assemblage theory can be utilised to further understandings of the multifaceted and ongoing nature of life course transitions. This study sheds light on the potential for assemblage theory to be utilised across a range of sociological topics relating to identity formulation, with such studies having the potential to really broaden the scope of sociological understandings of identity formation and life course transitions.

Details

Childbearing and the Changing Nature of Parenthood: The Contexts, Actors, and Experiences of Having Children
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-067-2

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Sofia Ulver and Jacob Ostberg

The purpose of this article is to argue that consumers experience conflict not only when in identity transitions or social status transitions but also in-between these…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to argue that consumers experience conflict not only when in identity transitions or social status transitions but also in-between these two, and that the relationship between these two is becoming increasingly important to address. First, this is done by identifying how status transitions (vertical movements) overlap but differ in some important respects from identity transitions (horizontal movements), and second, the consumption strategies used by people when these movements lead to an experience of conflict between one’s (new/old) identity role and (new/old) status position have been demonstrated.

Design/methodology/approach

In this multi-sited, qualitative data collection, the phenomenological and ethnographic interviews have been conducted with 35 urban middle-class consumers in their homes at three culturally and historically different sites (Sweden, Turkey and the USA).

Findings

The importance and kind of a consumption strategy to resolve the status–identity incongruence relates if it is mainly a vertically or horizontally determined transition. To consumers with a main focus on status change – characterised by hierarchical and competitive dimensions that identity role transitions are free from – the engagement in consumption becomes more important and intense.

Practical implications

Marketers have historically mainly been engaged in static categorisation and segmentation of consumer lifestyles. By instead emphasising consumers’ life transitions and their accompanying status–identity conflicts, marketers may consider the implications for market communication.

Social implications

Given that liquid modernity (Bauman, 2001) and its loose social structures forces the middle-class to become increasingly socially mobile, matches and mismatches between identity and status positions ought to become more common and the resulting consumption strategies more sophisticated. This research offers a first, tentative framework for understanding these conflicts in relation to consumption.

Originality/value

Although lifestyle transitions have often been elaborated on in consumer research, the differences between social status transitions and identity transitions, and especially the conflict in-between these two, have not been paid its deserved attention. Based on multi-sited, qualitative data collection, concrete consumption strategies following the experience of status–identity incongruence have been identified. The results also contribute to a better understanding of the growing uncertainty and volatility of social status positions in contemporary middle-class consumer culture.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 48 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Jessie Koen, Annelies Van Vianen, Ute-Christine Klehe and Jelena Zikic

The purpose of this paper is to explore how disadvantaged young adults construct a positive work-related identity in their transition from unemployment to employment, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how disadvantaged young adults construct a positive work-related identity in their transition from unemployment to employment, and what enables or constrains a successful transition.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with 29 apprentices of a reemployment program (Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen). The qualitative data were complemented by data on participants’ reemployment status one year after the program ended.

Findings

Identity construction was not preceded by clear motives or “possible selves.” Rather, serendipitous events led to participation in the reemployment program, after which provisional selves seemed to emerge through different pathways. The data also suggested that disadvantaged young adults had to discard their old selves to consolidate their new identity.

Research limitations/implications

A successful transition from unemployment to employment may require that old selves must be discarded before new selves can fully emerge. Given that our qualitative design limits the generalizability of the findings, the authors propose a process model that deserves further empirical examination.

Practical implications

A clear employment goal is not always required for the success of a reemployment intervention: interventions should rather focus on accommodating the emergence and consolidation of provisional selves. Yet, such programs can be simultaneously effective and unhelpful: especially group identification should be monitored.

Originality/value

Most research assumes that people are driven by specific goals when making a transition. The current study shows otherwise: the factors that enable or constrain a successful transition are not to be found in people’s goals, but rather in the process of identity construction itself.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Fernando F. Fachin and Eduardo Davel

– The purpose of this paper is to understand the interconnection of identity play and identity work during transitions.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the interconnection of identity play and identity work during transitions.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have conducted a 46-year longitudinal and process-based study on film director Denys Arcand. The focus is on his contested career shift from being a political documentary filmmaker to a box-office success and maker of television commercials. Films and media interviews were largely and systematically analyzed.

Findings

In order to explain how to maintain a sense of authenticity in transitioning between contradictory paths, the authors highlight how identity play and identity work appear in self-fuelling interaction through four processes (fragmenting, developing, mixing, and extracting).

Practical implications

The authors suggest new ways to deal with career transitions as well as identity construction in constraining environments.

Originality/value

The authors offer a theoretical framework that makes it possible to combine understandings of identity play and identity work. In particular, the authors develop on how, through play, individuals can create circumstances favourable for performing identity work in the future.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2020

Sally Smith, Thomas N. Garavan, Anne Munro, Elaine Ramsey, Colin F. Smith and Alison Varey

The purpose of this study is to explore the role of professional and leader identity and the maintenance of identity, through identity work as IT professionals transitioned

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the role of professional and leader identity and the maintenance of identity, through identity work as IT professionals transitioned to a permanent hybrid role. This study therefore contributes to the under-researched area of permanent transition to a hybrid role in the context of IT, where there is a requirement to enact both the professional and leader roles together.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilised a longitudinal design and two qualitative methods (interviews and reflective diaries) to gather data from 17 IT professionals transitioning to hybrid roles.

Findings

The study findings reveal that IT professionals engage in an ongoing process of reconciliation of professional and leader identity as they transition to a permanent hybrid role, and they construct hybrid professional–leader identities while continuing to value their professional identity. They experience professional–leader identity conflict resulting from reluctance to reconcile both professional and leader identities. They used both integration and differentiation identity work tactics to ameliorate these tensions.

Originality/value

The longitudinal study design, the qualitative approaches used and the unique context of the participants provide a dynamic and deep understanding of the challenges involved in performing hybrid roles in the context of IT.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Kate V. Lewis, Marcus Ho, Candice Harris and Rachel Morrison

This paper aims to report an empirically grounded theoretical framework within which to understand the role of entrepreneurial identity development in the discovery…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report an empirically grounded theoretical framework within which to understand the role of entrepreneurial identity development in the discovery, development and exploitation of opportunity, and to elaborate on how these identity transitions both mobilise and constrain female entrepreneurs.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study-based research design was used in this study. Primary and secondary data were collected from eight female participants (all of whom can be categorised as “mumpreneurs”) and analysed to inform the theoretical framework that is the foundation of the paper.

Findings

The authors describe how identity conflict, role congruence and reciprocal identity creation play a critical role in venture creation as a form of entrepreneurship. Drawing on the constructs of identification, self-verification and identity enactment, the authors build a theoretical framework for understanding entrepreneurial identity transitions in relation to opportunity-seeking behaviours.

Research limitations/implications

The work is theoretical in character and based on a sample that, whilst rich in the provision of theoretical insight, is small in scope. Additionally, the sample is located in one geographical context (New Zealand) which likely has implications for the way in which the key constructs are perceived and enacted.

Originality/value

This paper is an attempt to integrate conceptualisations of entrepreneurial identity development with opportunity-related processes in the context of venture creation. A holistic focus on identity transitions and their relevance to perception and action in relation to opportunity (the root of entrepreneurial behaviour) is novel; at this point, it is exploratory in intention and tentative in reach.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Sophie Hennekam

The purpose of this paper is to examine how artists deal with having multiple potentially incompatible work-related identities as a result of a career transition from…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how artists deal with having multiple potentially incompatible work-related identities as a result of a career transition from making a living exclusively as artists to taking on additional work outside the creative industries.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 40 semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted by telephone with artists in the Netherlands. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze the findings.

Findings

Four different strategies for dealing with multiple potentially incompatible identities were identified: integration, accumulation, separation and dis-identification. The findings suggest that the informal social context, the support of rejection of important others, influenced the strategy adopted by the artists. Invalidation from the environment often leads to stress and separation or dis-identification strategies, while validation seems to lead to integration and accumulation strategies that are less psychologically straining.

Practical implications

The findings stress the importance of the external environment. While the workers had to deal with their own psychological stress and regret about not succeeding at working exclusively as artists, they also had to create a feasible story that allowed them to “sell” their transition to others.

Originality/value

Careers are becoming increasingly non-linear, and the number of workers who need to juggle multiple (potentially conflicting) work-related identities is rising. However, how workers deal with this has received only limited attention from researchers.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 46 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Yee Mun Jessica Leong and Joanna Crossman

The purpose of this paper is to explore the perceptions of new nurses in Singapore of their experiences of role transition and to examine the implications for managers in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the perceptions of new nurses in Singapore of their experiences of role transition and to examine the implications for managers in terms of employee training, development and retention.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study was conducted using a constructivist grounded theory approach. In total 26 novice nurses and five preceptors (n=31) from five different hospitals participated in the study. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews and reflective journal entries and analysed using the constant comparative method.

Findings

The findings revealed that novice nurses remained emotionally and physically challenged when experiencing role transition. Two major constructs appear to play an important part in the transition process; learning how to Fit in and aligning personal with professional and organisational identities. The findings highlight factors that facilitate or impede Fitting in and aligning these identities.

Originality/value

Although the concept of Fitting in and its relation to the attrition of novice nurses has been explored in global studies, that relationship has not yet been theorised as the dynamic alignment of multiple identities. Also, whilst most research around Fitting in, identity and retention has been conducted in western countries, little is known about these issues and their interrelationship in the context of Singapore. The study should inform decision making by healthcare organisations, nurse managers and nursing training institutions with respect to improving the transition experience of novice nurses.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 29 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Zhen Zhang and Douglas Chun

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the important process of how entrepreneurial identity is formed and constructed, with the perspective that entrepreneurial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the important process of how entrepreneurial identity is formed and constructed, with the perspective that entrepreneurial identity is social and dynamic, constantly shaped by various life episodes and human interactions, rather than static and unchanging.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study comprises 30 in-depth interviews with Chinese immigrants in West Canada. These immigrants had been employed professionals under the “Skilled Workers” immigration category but later became entrepreneurs. None of the entrepreneurs in this study had prior business ownership experience, and many of them said that they had never thought about running businesses until they came to Canada.

Findings

A process model of entrepreneurial identity construction is presented. This paper advances the literature on entrepreneurship through the identification of three stages in the development of entrepreneurial identity: identity exploration, entrepreneurial mindsets building, and narrative development.

Originality/value

This study has important implications for the understanding of the exploratory and discovery mode of entrepreneurial identity construction. This study also moves away from the contextual and structural hypotheses as the sole explanations for the high rate of self-employment among immigrant entrepreneurs, and provides a useful starting point for a deeper understanding of the agency of immigrant entrepreneurs.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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