The Resilience of Occupational Culture in Contemporary Workplaces

Critical Horizons 15 (2):131-149 (2014)
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Abstract

In France, the notion of “métier” continues to represent a major reference point in current discussions on work issues, both in theory and in public discourse. The “métier” encapsulates the set of specialized technical knowledge, bodily and mental skills, accepted interpersonal conventions and modes of behaviour, which characterize what could be called in English an “occupational culture”, the specific professional knowledge, culture and ethos of an occupation. The article analyses the psychological and cultural instances that make up a “métier” from the point of view of the working individual, distinguishing between a personal, an interpersonal, a transper-sonal and an impersonal dimension of the working activity. The article then argues that the relationship between work and health relies upon a work organization that allows these four instances to be constantly readjusted at the individual level and at the level of the work collective.

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