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Title: Occupational community in the network society : an ethnography of computer technologists at a software development company
Author: Marschall, Daniel John.
ISNI:       0000 0000 6732 7244
Awarding Body: University of Lancaster
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2006
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Drawing upon Manuel Castells' notion of the "space of flows" in the network society, the thesis reconceptualizes the long-standing sociological framework of occupational community by presenting the findings of empirical research and a schema for analyzing the dimensions of occupational communities as they change over time. Based upon four years of ethnographic fieldwork among technical workers associated with a small US software development company, this thesis examines the work practices, identity formation, and enduring sense of community among computer technologists, the workers who design, develop, produce, test, and maintain computerbased systems and networks. The thesis argues that members of this occupational group constructed their work culture as a networked occupational community through face-to-face social interaction, project-centered work practices, and a distinctive use of language, organizational mottoes, metaphors, and communication systems. Importantly, their community was constituted both in the physical realm of office environments and in the virtual spaces of electronic mailing lists, enabling their occupational community to persist beyond the time in which their company of origin ceased operations. I argue that a networked occupational community becomes manifest as it moves from one configuration to another, enabling the researcher to trace its movement through time. The thesis contributes to the sociology of work and occupations, the field of Internet studies, and continuing discussion over the utility of the network society framework for understanding contemporary life and work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available