Reconstructing Identity After a Labor Dispute Against the Closure of a Site: Case Study on Union Leaders
This article describes how union leaders reconstructed their identity after leading a dispute against the closure of their site. Linking together various aspects of critical theories of identity, identity salience, self-categorization, and coping, a survey was carried out by holding semi-structured interviews with 50 union leaders who managed this professional transition. Three identity balances were identified: identity tension, in-between, and turning the page. The first constitutes a refusal to carry out the professional transition. The second exposes an identity tension in which the leader seeks to assume a “double” identity, while the third refers to the completed identity transition. Our work suggests that the capacity to reconstruct identity depends on the interrelation of personal and contextual variables from which the key roles of social support and the nature of union investment emerge. These results contribute to a renewed understanding of both professional transitions and the identity dynamic in a climate of threat.
Copyright (c) 2014 François Grima, Rachel Beaujolin
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