as you are preparing your submissions for the upcoming conference season, consider submitting to the EGOS Sub-theme 21: Bricolaging Careers - (Re)Imagining Meaningful Careers for 'the Good Life' (Hybrid).
We welcome submissions of scholars interested in a variety of theoretical, philosophical, methodological approaches and share an interest in careers. Specifically, we invite contributions that explore the good life beyond individual career perspectives. We want to explore collective, sociological and relational aspects of careers contributing to the good life that can encompass community resilience and progress, social equality and inclusion, addressing themes of public concern, such as climate change and preservation of biodiversity.
We are intending to offer an inspiring setting – including various hybrid formats and channels to discuss your work.
You can find the link to the call here
This sub-theme aims to explore the constructions of careers as contributors to wellbeing, meaningfulness and 'the good life'. Around the world, careers are becoming increasingly normative and prescribed, arguably developing into a source of suffering in the form of unsustainable expectations and workloads in the name of relentless productivity, excellence and merit. Moreover, individualised audit and incentive systems encourage individual careerism (Clarke & Knights, 2015), which not only stifles collective sense of vocation, doing good, innovation and diversity but also makes working lives increasingly unhealthy over time (Ratle et al., 2020). Approaching careers as a way of organizing and, specifically, bricolaging is a useful metaphor that provides insights and helps us to reconsider the way in which people assign meaning to their careers. We want to (re)imagine the potential of bricolaging careers for the good life, unpicking what the good life means over time, in diverse contexts, circumstances, and configurations of power/resistance and structure/agency relations. In career research there is a long tradition in investigating career impact on working lives, such as work/life balance (Greenhaus & Foley, 2007), wellbeing (Potgieter, Ferreira, & Coetzee, 2019), sustainable careers (Van der Heijden & De Vos, 2015) and individual career outcomes (Heslin, 2005). However, careers have been conceptualised overly individualistic and there is a growing interest in investigating careers beyond the individual construct. Few approaches propose wider concepts of careers encompassing societal impact such as responsible careers, 'in which people seek to have an impact on societal challenges such as environmental sustainability and social justice through their employment and role choices, strategic approaches to work, and other actions' (Tams & Marshall, 2011: 110). Additionally, recent studies have investigated the relationship of wider societal engagement and careers. According to Bode and colleagues (2021), individuals engaging in CSR initiatives experience poorer career prospects as social engagement is seen as a female task and less valuable than commercial work. Iatridis and colleagues (2022) emphasise the gendered nature of meaningfulness in relation to the constitution of professional identity for emerging professional groups. As careers align with contexts (Mayrhofer et al., 2007), meaning creation is not experienced without tensions (Chudzikowski et al., 2020). We invite contributions that explore the good life beyond individual career perspectives. We want to explore collective, sociological and relational aspects of careers contributing to the good life that can encompass community resilience and progress, social equality and inclusion, addressing themes of public concern, such as climate change and preservation of biodiversity. We aim to collectively (re)imagine the diversity of creative and meaningful careers by exploring narratives of careers that appear relevant beyond individual objectives. We do this through the concept of bricolage, an individual and collective process of making, improvisation, and sensemaking that combine the pregiven and the spontaneous to produce an arrangement that works for the purpose at hand (Duymedian & Rüling, 2010). Bricolage involves combining resources for a new purpose and can therefore also be seen as a methodological approach (Pratt et al., 2020). We welcome papers that come from different theoretical, philosophical traditions, methodological approaches, and diverse contexts. Contributions may address, but are not limited to the following themes and questions: 1) Critiques of dominant career narratives: how are careers getting in the way of 'the good life'?
2) Organizing 'good careers': how can we bricolage careers for 'the good life'?
3) Conceptualizing 'career bricolage': how can we develop this theoretically and methodologically?
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact one of our team:
Alexandra Bristow, The Open University, UK (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Katharina Chudzikowski, University of Bath, UK (email@example.com)
Nadia DeGama, AFG College with the University of Aberdeen, Qatar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Axel Haunschild, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany (email@example.com)
Olivier Ratle, University of the West of England, UK (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sarah Robinson, Glasgow University, UK (Sarah.Robinson.email@example.com)
Angelika Schmidt, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Austria (firstname.lastname@example.org)