Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
RN19_09b: Changing Context - Shifting Identities?
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Sirpa Wrede, University of Helsinki
Location: BS.3.28
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

Show help for 'Increase or decrease the abstract text size'

Professional Dynasties as a Social Mechanism for the Reproduction of Professional Identities

Olesya Yurchenko, Valery Mansurov

Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation

Project Professional Dynasties as a Social Mechanism of the Reproduction of Professional Groups is directed towards the studies of reasons and circumstances of the rise and fall of professional dynasties. By dynasty we understand a social group localised in the industrial and socio-economic sphere characterised by kindred relationships, where several generations do their professional work in the same sphere. We have studied the professional dynasties of doctors, teachers, lawyers and engineers under contemporary conditions of work. We have undertaken in-depth interviews with the members of these professional dynasties engaged in the public and private sector in Moscow, Moscow region, Ekaterinburg, Ufa and Samara in 2018. The phenomenon of ‘professional dynasty’ was brought to life by the Soviet state in the 1920-s. Dynasties were social constructs done by the state that aimed at producing elite professions and professional layers. Later, professional dynasties were formed in various spheres by professionals themselves through parents’ expectations and passing down of professional knowledge. Contemporary dynasties still constitute professional identities and provide the passing down of knowledge from parents to children. Dynasties may become a resource for a family professional mobility. The members of dynasties use various informal methods and practices for the upbringing of next generation in the context of changing economic, technical and social realities. Dynasties may provide conditions for the effective professional adaptation and career realization of young generations. Dynasties no longer guarantee an elite professional standing. However, dynasty professionals have a stronger professional identity and they report to be better adapted to the changes in the labour market.

Varieties of Professionalism: A Comparative Study of Workplace Cultures and Professional Role Identities in Two Swedish Welfare State Bureaucracies

Kerstin Jacobsson1, Ylva Wallinder1, Ida Seing2

1University of Gothenburg, Sweden; 2University of Linköping, Sweden

Professionals in welfare state bureaucracies face the challenge of negotiating their professional identity in the context of changeable policy priorities, organizational pressures and managerial styles. Previous research has contrasted two types of professionalism: occupational vs. organizational (e.g. Evetts 2011, 2013), the latter a type of professionals without a profession. Others talk of hybrid professionalism (e.g. Noordegraaf 2007). Based on ethnographic studies of seven local offices of the Social Insurance Agency (SIA) and the Public Employment Service (PES) in Sweden, this paper identifies a third type of professionalism, provisionally conceptualized as ‘task-defined professionalism’. Empirical evidence comes from the comparative analysis of case workers in these two agencies, which represent very different public sector workplace cultures and professional role identities, even though management systems are similar and case workers in both agencies lack a common professional training. The case workers differ in terms of embraced notions of professionalism; view of discretion; relationship to clients, managers and external parties; emotional alliances and reward at work; as well as loyalty to current organizational goals. While SIA caseworkers represent a distinctive form of organizational professionalism, which make them highly adaptable to shifting organizational imperatives, the PES caseworkers, representing ‘task-defined professionalism’, are highly flexible in their task orientation but more resistant to shifting organizational goals.

Keywords: activation policy, caseworkers, profession, professionalism, organizational professionalism, street-level bureaucracy

Professional Cohesion in Classic and New Occupational Groups under the Current Reforms of Welfare State in Russia

Daria Prisiazhniuk, Elena Iarskaia-Smirnova

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation

In today’s Russia the NPM reforms are in progress, the liberalization of welfare state is complemented with statist interventions. Such processes create the dynamics of struggle and control outside and within the professional groups. The paper is based on the analysis of survey (n=200) and qualitative interviews (n=20) with medical doctors and social workers (SW) in a large Russian city. The research shows that cohesion in two professional groups is distinguished by features of mechanical (SW) and organic (doctors) solidarity in Durkheim’s terms. Comparing to that of medicine, the ‘professional project’ of social work in Russia started quite recently, and this occupation is characterized by low level of autonomy and social closure. SW more often talk about the homogeneity of the group, and mutual aid practices.Cooperation between members of professional group and competition with other groups are more characteristic for doctors. They more often than SW say about the heterogeneity of their community, the uniqueness of each member; perceive themselves as members of a professional group and report about positive emotions of belonging to it. The division of labor in a group of doctors employed in the same organization, as well as a higher level of professional autonomy, make this group cohesive, despite the differences in value orientations. Mobility opportunities into a commercial sector undermine the organizational cohesion of doctors. Sources of a stable professional cohesion of SW are to be found in similarity of vocational attitudes and competencies, since this group is weakly specialized; its members lack autonomy and have fewer career opportunities and employment alternatives.

True Believers And Basket Weavers: Tensions in Role Formations between Higher Education And Irish Military Professional Identity.

Andrew Gerard Gibson

Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

The 1960s saw a signal development in role of the Irish Defence Forces, with greater involvement internationally starting with the United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC) in 1960, and a deteriorating internal security situation with start of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland. In this same period, the general staff of the Irish Army started sending officer cadets to civilian university during their training, at a time when ever greater demands were being put on the army to prepare young officers for immediate deployment. Since then the Defence Forces has maintained – and expanded – its policy of sending officers to civilian higher education institutions.

Military training and education as theorised in the literature is a relatively clear-cut example of secondary socialisation whereby the military organisation sets out explicitly to turn civilians into military professionals. By sending officer cadets to university, in Ireland this military socialisation process is interrupted, with potential for role ambiguity in the formation of a professional military identity, and “corrective” processes brought to bear on and by the individual.

This paper explores how military identity is formed in light of possibly conflicting demands by examining three points of contact between officer socialisation and university: choice of course, commissioning and graduation, and returning to military life from university. Data was generated as part of a broader study of higher education and the Irish Defence Forces since the 1960s, drawing on 50 semi-structured interviews with both serving and retired officers.