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Regenerating Identities: subjectivity in transition in a South Wales workforce

Introduction

Regenerating Identities is a project looking at 'subjectivity in transition in a South Wales workforce'. It seeks to understand how people make the huge shifts in work identity demanded of them in such moments of what we could term ‘chronic social dislocation’.


Aims of Project

Most approaches to these issues either work at the level of sociology or economy and tend to take identity for granted as a category. This research seeks to understand how people make the huge shifts in work identity demanded of them in such moments of what we could term ‘chronic social dislocation’. Do people have to have a strong resilient sense of self to be able to cope with ‘the end of jobs for life’ and thus face constant change of work or is it more helpful to understand identity in terms of the changing stories we tell ourselves and are told by others about the kind of person we are? How do people actually make an enforced shift in work identity? Do ‘former steel workers’ still refer to themselves in these terms because they cannot cope with the new form of work they have to have or indeed the status of unemployed person? How do women cope with this when so many part-time jobs are now open to women, where they might be working alongside former steel workers or indeed be the sole breadwinner in the family and how do young people cope with working and living in a community whose work-centre has disappeared? These issues and questions have a central place in trying to understand and support communities in transition. This research seeks both therefore to address some fundamental questions about identity and also to address what such work has to offer to the policy and practice of regeneration and for the support of workers and their families within such communities.


Research Project Members

Prof Valerie Walkerdine

Telephone:+44 (0)29 208 75567Extension:75567



Duration

March 2005 to December 2006