Isaac Prilleltensky and Graham B. Stead
Critical psychology emerged as a reaction to (a) the oppressive turn in individualism, (b) the negative repercussions of the status quo on large sectors of the population, and (c) psychology's witting or unwitting complicity in upholding the societal status quo. The critical psychology movement questions psychology, and society, on the basis of moral, epistemic, and professional shortcomings. This chapter reviews critical psychology's reservations about dominant assumptions in these three domains, and offers an alternative set of principles designed to advance well-being in persons, communities, psychological science, and professional practice. Following an alternative conception of well-being, this chapter applies it to the world of work. It reviews problematic assumptions pertaining to the moral, epistemic, and professional values impacting the world of work, and offers theoretical and practical recommendations for advancing the well-being of workers, organizations, and communities. Humanitarian work psychology and critical management studies offer valuable avenues for merging critical psychology with the world of work.
Lan Wang, Douglas T. Hall, and Lea Waters
This chapter discusses “identity-based retirement,” a psychosocial process of identity transition and search for meaning. We see the career as a series of short learning cycles, mini versions of the lifelong career stage model of Super (1957). Retirement is a recursive process of intentions, actions, and outcomes, through which new behaviors generalize to involvement in new roles, and new subidentities associated with retirement (Hall, 1971, 2002). This process entails communicating internally with the self and externally with significant others. Factors in the individual (self-comparisons and protean career orientation) and relational factors (developmental networks and reference groups) influence the identity and goal-setting process, making the person both the agent and the target of the change process that is retirement. Thus the necessity to be self-anchored during retirement gives people the opportunity to find personal meaning in ways that step outside of their previous working lives.
Gender and work are intimately interwoven concepts. The gendered context of work, including sexism and discrimination, has historically excluded access to work for women; similarly, gender socialization experiences have influenced how women and men construct meaning around work. The purpose of this chapter is to utilize an inclusive, psychology-of-working framework to examine how work intersects with both female and male gender roles. The complex manner in which working and gender roles interface will be explored, along with an emphasis on understanding how socialization and sexist practices create limitations for individuals seeking and adjusting to work.
Lisa Y. Flores
The world of work has been one of the key contexts for the manifestation of the pernicious impact of racism. Using a multicultural and psychology of working perspective, this chapter reviews literature across various disciplines on the work experiences of people of color to illuminate their career narratives. The effects of racism on work disparities, psychological and physical health, occupational health, job satisfaction, and other work-related outcomes among workers of color in the United States are explored. In addition, research that has applied cultural and race-based frameworks to understanding the effects of culture on work-related variables among people of color is reviewed. Finally, research with people of color that has addressed the psychology of work's three functions of work-work for survival and power, work for social connection, and work for self-determination-is highlighted. Recommendations regarding future vocational research, practice, and policies that can assist people of color in their journey toward seeking work that fulfills their individual needs are provided.
Graham B. Stead
The psychology of working is examined in relation to social constructionism. Social constructionism focuses on discourse, language, relationships, and culture; in this chapter, social constructionism is related to how the psychology of working might be constructed, not discovered or objectively determined, as a means of offering alternative perspectives to vocational psychology. This chapter reflects on social constructionism, its development and applicability to the psychology of working, epistemology, language and discourse, power/knowledge, the relational self, and narrative, and addresses common criticisms of social constructionism. Possible research directions utilizing social constructionism are provided.