Occupational Prestige As Element of the 'Decent Work'

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Hörsaal 5A G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Olga CZERANOWSKA, University of Warsaw, Poland
Apart from it's purely economic meaning, work is one of the key factors that influence individual biography and identity as well as individual’s position in the community. Self-development and feeling of personal fulfillment connected with occupational prestige are therefore important components of ‘decent work’ as defined by International Labour Organization. Moreover, occupational prestige shapes social structure and has a bearing on interpersonal relationships and psychological well-being of the worker.

Traditional model of stable employment enhanced the process of shaping occupational identity as well as emotional bonds inside occupational group or organizations. In the modern, flexible labour market however, this model of career is no longer dominant.  In its place new career models are emerging – their shared characteristic being lack of stability and consequently - need of individual construction of identity. This social and economic changes on the macro level have a bearing on the personal meaning of work and occupational life. Nevertheless work and prestige connected with it are still important components of social and individual life.

In the research for my PhD thesis I was aiming at creating social definition of occupational prestige and examining its implications for the individual biographies. My research project was based on triangulation of sources and methods, it included both qualitative and quantitative elements. Media discourse analysis and quantitative research (PAPI questionnaire) as well as secondary data enabled me to identify categories of  interviewees for qualitative interviews. My research problems involved meaning of prestige (also in terms of private sphere and work-life balance) and  process of shaping occupational identity of high prestige groups and individuals. Having in mind problems of discrimination on the labour market I also taken into account gender perspective.