Crisis at Work

Identity and the End of Career

Authors: Potter, J.

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About this book

This book explores how we make sense of ourselves when work is precarious and intrinsically alienating. We know little about how this experience of work impacts the lives of men and women, and less about the way individuals understand themselves in the face of institutions and organizations from which they feel marginalized. Based on the narratives of men and women who underwent extraordinary work life changes, Crisis at Work examines how we negotiate greater meaning and fulfilment when our productive lives fail to sustain and satisfy. Reflecting a growing fracture between what we value, believe in, and are committed to and the degree to which work and career have become incapable of assuaging those desires, Potter examines how individuals attempt to assemble working-lives they find rich and rewarding and how that work is negotiated within the constraints and possibilities of the contemporary moment.

About the authors

Jesse Potter is Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology in the Department of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.
 

Reviews

“This book explores how individuals experience and negotiate their identity during periods of dramatic career transition. … The book brings significant complexity to debates about ‘the end of work’ by offering an in-depth empirical exploration of the construction and challenges of alternative life and work trajectories. … the book’s fascinating insights into how individuals negotiate work transitions will hopefully stimulate more much-needed research on how the contemporary shift in work conditions relates to selfhood.” (Maria Adamson, Work, employment and society, Vol. 31 (4), 2017) 

“Jesse Potter’s new book Crisis at Work is an attempt to gauge the saliency of some of these wilder claims by studying a series of people experiencing significant upheaval in their working careers. … Potter’s introductory scene setting material is a useful summation of current debates in the field and as a whole it provides a snapshot of work orientation among a narrow group of middle-class workers confronting change.” (Tim Strangleman, British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 67 (1), January, 2016)


“What does it mean to 'have a career' when our working lives are becoming increasingly uncertain? As Jesse Potter persuasively argues, the 'crisis at work' throws up far-reaching questions about personal identity and selfhood. Work and biography are richly interwoven even or perhaps especially when our jobs are subjected to instability and change. What emerges here is an understanding of selfhood as a painstakingly crafted balance between material advancement and personal fulfi lment. This is a remarkable, insightful, and thought-provoking book.” (Nigel Dodd, Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics, UK)

“In Crisis at Work Jesse Potter manages to engage both his research 'subjects' and his readers in a series of rewarding conversations about work life and selfhood just when both have become precarious. One of those rare pieces of sociology that helps you know yourself as you get to know some new things about how the world works.” (Richard Flacks, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)

“This is a book that makes human sense of labour. Jesse Potter has looked deep inside the experience of work today, to understand how people try to wrest a life narrative from their jobs, and what happens when they can't. He is a clear-sighted, deep-searching analyst.” (Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology, New York University, USA)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook £59.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-30543-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £74.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-30542-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Crisis at Work
Book Subtitle
Identity and the End of Career
Authors
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-30543-5
DOI
10.1057/9781137305435
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-30542-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 208
Topics