La costruzione narrativa del sé professionale. Repertori interpretativi e schemi di sé in un campione di giovani alla prima occupazione

Amelia Manuti


The narrative construction of professional self. Interpretative repertoires and self schemata in a sample of career starters

The present contribution aims at analysing the narrative construction of professional identity. To this purpose a sample of 15 young career-starters (6 females and 9 males) at their first working experience employed in a furniture factory in Matera (Basilicata) have been interviewed. The data have been investigated adopting a qualitative perspective, as to trace the rhetorical and argumen-tative structures used by the participants to make sense of their professional identity. The analysis of data has highlighted the use of specific interpretative repertoires with reference to precise socio-cultural variables (such as for instance genre, working position, education) used by participants as to tell their own experience of socialization to work (interpretative repertories focused on an extrinsic and an intrinsic meaning of work). Moreover, the narrative analysis of the interviews has shown a recourse to different strategies in career planning which mirrors the use of specific narrative schemata of the self in relation to work thus marking a more or less explicit centrality of working experience, hence giving continuity and coherence to personal and social identity (schemata for proactive, indolent, defensive, fatalist self). The centrality attributed to working experience within the narrative of one’s own self story has highlighted the psychological relevance of work as an anchor of the self which still allows to shape and support personal and social identity.


Professional identity, self schemata, rhetorical and argumentative structures, narrative analysis

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