For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Work experience and psychological change throughout the life course"

by Mortimer, Jeylan T (1988)


Jeylan Mortimer's chapter on the links between work experience and psychological change, summarizing her own extensive studies, exemplifîes an established body of research on how people's background and early experience, and contextual characteristics of the environment, affect life-course outcomes. Glen Elder and Elizabeth Clipp, building on earlier studies of primary group bonding under conditions of wartime combat, investigate the persistence of ties to military comrades across the postwar years. The lifecourse perspective is also central to Peter Messeri's essay on scientists' willingness to adopt innovative ideas. In addition, Messeri introduces a new contextual variable—the degree to which an innovation has already been accepted—a mediating factor in the relationship between professional age and adoption of a new theory. The life-course perspective and event history analysis are joined in Rachel Rosenfeld and Kenneth Spenner's discussion of women's evolving sense of "work identity" as linked to early employment experiences and changing family responsibilities


Work Experience, Personality, Mental Development, Personality Traits, Work Identity, Psychological Change


Psychological Centrality of Work

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