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The concept of work – yesterday and today

A thesis debated at the University of Padua explores the social representations of work

Work in its day-to-day guise, but also in its social representations, as well as the concept of work and the reality from which such concept derives its tangible and accomplished form. Reflections on how work is represented in different places and times are far from trivial, especially thinking about the relationships of such representations as new modes of work emerge.

Sabrina Cameletti’s thesis, debated at the University of Padua (Degree in social and work psychological sciences), revolves around these themes. Entitled “Rappresentazioni sociali del lavoro ieri e oggi” (“Social representations of work, yesterday and today”), it embodies a concise analysis, including both a theoretical side and a case study, on how work and working have been “represented” and socially experienced.

Though not overly long, the study first tackles the topic from a social and psychological perspective, and then from a historical and philosophical one, providing a compact description leading us to the 2020 pandemic. The work goes on to contextualise the topic in theoretical terms and finally provides a “field study” (undertaken with a small team of employees at the Autostrade per l’Italia company), with the aim of uncovering the social representation of the concept of work as well as characterising the notion of “working well” both nowadays and twenty years ago.

Cameletti explains that as the social representation of work defines a production culture, looking at it from a particular perspective (that of employees rather than managers) makes it a significant aspect to be considered in any process related to the employment market and the relationships between companies and workforce. Further, the way in which the notion of “working well” has evolved throughout the years also illustrates social and economic change, and thus understanding it is useful to better comprehend the general evolution of economy and of society. Sabrina Cameletti has indeed succeeded in providing an effective overview of such a substantial topic.

“Rappresentazioni sociali del lavoro ieri e oggi” (“Social representations of work, yesterday and today”)

Sabrina Cameletti

Thesis, University of Padua, Department of Philosophy, Social Science, Pedagogy and Applied Psychology, Degree in social and work psychological sciences, 2023

 

A thesis debated at the University of Padua explores the social representations of work

Work in its day-to-day guise, but also in its social representations, as well as the concept of work and the reality from which such concept derives its tangible and accomplished form. Reflections on how work is represented in different places and times are far from trivial, especially thinking about the relationships of such representations as new modes of work emerge.

Sabrina Cameletti’s thesis, debated at the University of Padua (Degree in social and work psychological sciences), revolves around these themes. Entitled “Rappresentazioni sociali del lavoro ieri e oggi” (“Social representations of work, yesterday and today”), it embodies a concise analysis, including both a theoretical side and a case study, on how work and working have been “represented” and socially experienced.

Though not overly long, the study first tackles the topic from a social and psychological perspective, and then from a historical and philosophical one, providing a compact description leading us to the 2020 pandemic. The work goes on to contextualise the topic in theoretical terms and finally provides a “field study” (undertaken with a small team of employees at the Autostrade per l’Italia company), with the aim of uncovering the social representation of the concept of work as well as characterising the notion of “working well” both nowadays and twenty years ago.

Cameletti explains that as the social representation of work defines a production culture, looking at it from a particular perspective (that of employees rather than managers) makes it a significant aspect to be considered in any process related to the employment market and the relationships between companies and workforce. Further, the way in which the notion of “working well” has evolved throughout the years also illustrates social and economic change, and thus understanding it is useful to better comprehend the general evolution of economy and of society. Sabrina Cameletti has indeed succeeded in providing an effective overview of such a substantial topic.

“Rappresentazioni sociali del lavoro ieri e oggi” (“Social representations of work, yesterday and today”)

Sabrina Cameletti

Thesis, University of Padua, Department of Philosophy, Social Science, Pedagogy and Applied Psychology, Degree in social and work psychological sciences, 2023