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Identities at work

Work-related identities possess both an individual and a social dimension, influencing how individuals and others see their work and themselves. This section investigates issues relating to how individuals see themselves and their role, how they want others to see them and how 'skills' equate with the attributes most valued by employers. The section will start with some illustrations drawn from TLRP projects before considering a range of other resources focusing on 'identities at work'.

Early Career Learning summary

A TLRP project focused upon the early career learning of graduates engaged in the process of becoming nurses, engineers and accountants.

Identity and vocational learning summary

Identity gives people a sense of who they are and vocational learning also contains a sense of what people may become. Vocational learning is challenging because it draws on hybrid identities of individuals as learner and prospective worker, learner and worker, or worker and learner (Solomon, 2003). There is also an issue in that a student identity often stronger than a prospective vocational identity. That is people often choose to become students in a vocational area for reasons other than a strong commitment to work in that area and even where they are so committed, their intentions may change? What are the consequences of so many people seeking work outside the sectors for which they have apparently been trained? When considering vocational learning and identity it is evident that there is a need to consider aspects of the learner’s identity. What is sometimes overlooked, however, is a consideration of aspects of identity of vocational teachers. Finally, as identities are produced through discursive practices and individuals and workplaces are different, then vocational learning may be experienced differently even in apparently similar circumstances.

Aesthetic Labour summary

Many employers are now stressing the importance of employees' personal characteristics, such as 'looking good and sounding fine'. What are the consequences of this trend for identities at work?

Cultural Practices summary

This section examines how identity and learning are constituted and transformed at work through cultural practices.