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Title: Constructing a professional identity : a combined conceptual approach to the case of life insurance agents
Author: Bonner, Maria Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 6757
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis applies and commentates on the value of using a combined approach to the study of professional identity construction in non-traditional professional occupational groups. In doing so, it demonstrates the value of adopting a combined identity framework centred on socio-psychological and critical/Foucauldian approaches to identity, where a socio-psychological approach allows for an understanding of the meanings associated with a professional identity and a Foucauldian approach pays attention to how such meanings arise in relationships of power/knowledge. In seeking to gain a comprehensive understa~ding of the process of professional identity construction, this thesis contributes to a limited but growing body of literature which calls for the two approaches to be brought together in synthesised coherence. In demonstrating the value of adopting a combined conceptual identity framework, the thesis examines the case of life insurance agents constructing a professional identity as representative of an occupational group not traditionally acknowledged as a profession. The empirical study was undertaken in the Romanian arm of a multinational life insurance company, and included carrying out semi-structured in-depth interviews and participant observation. The results from the empirical study show how life insurance agents constructed their professional identity in relation to in-group meanings of professionalism, and how such meanings were constituted through a managerially induced discourse of professionalism. A greater understanding was therefore achieved by using a combined '. identity approach than would have been the case if the socially constructed nature of professional identity were to be considered simply in terms of one approach to the study of identity. 3 •
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available