“It is through work that one organizes who one is, and much of what counts in life” (Peavy, 1991, p. 14). As it happens, under the present moment of human (social, historic, cultural, economic…) evolution, the concept of work is being submitted to a process of transformation, mainly due to the (ongoing) changes in the ways in which societies are organized and function. Circumstance which cannot be dissociated from emerging phenomena such as persistent underemployment, structural unemployment or the scarcity and de-regulation of jobs’ access and maintenance conditions that especially affect young people going through the school-to-work transition process. As du Bois-Reymond and Chisholm (2006) state, life today seems to be particularly prone to the spreading of “vulnerable employment” (p. 4) situations, making young people outline paths marked by “false starts”, which make them make continuous “negotiation and redefinitions” (Looker & Dwyer, 1998, p. 17). It is, thus, the aim of this research to explore the meanings of work in people’s lives, mostly in what concerns the understanding and characterization of (i) the way(s) in which Portuguese young adults negotiate the transition process to the work world, and (ii) the personal meanings they attach to work and the act of working, as well as its relationships with well-being. An observation plan with three distinct phases was designed, and it combined quantitative and qualitative methods of assessment, specifically, a pilot study (quantitative), followed by a second stage of quantitative assessment, and by a qualitative study. On the whole, results point to a mix of trends, in clear accordance with the multidimensional and the complexity underlying nowadays life. More precisely, it was rather outstanding the significance held by certain (core) psychological variables (like the personal sense of efficacy), when compared to other more superficial dimensions, in the ways in which young people, effectively, negotiate the school to work transition process. Concerning meanings attached to work and working, it comes up the fairly universality and perenniality of some of the conceptions underlying them (e.g., as an effort, an obligation) as well as the (growing) emphasis given to some more fresh conceptions (e.g., as a means of self expression or personal accomplishment). The main deductions allowed by such data, as well as its implications for intervention, in harmony with the discussion of their psychological meaning and structuring dimensions, will favour a focus, simultaneously intra and transpersonal.
|Bidragets titel på inmatningsspråk||Young adults’ meanings and transitions to work|
|Tilldelningsdatum||12 maj 2008|
|Status||Publicerad - 12 maj 2008|
|MoE-publikationstyp||G4 Doktorsavhandling (monografi)|