Marinescu-Nenciu [Abstract]

The rhetoric of a former corporate job. How people construct their working experience in conversation [Full text]

Alina Petra Marinescu-Nenciu  [1]

AbstractThe present article looked into the way people construct their former working experiences in conversation. As a main analysis outcome I was interested in the narrative patterns that emerge when people recollect the stories of the jobs they had in different corporations. As a secondary analysis outcome I focused on the discursive construction of the corporate companies as working environments and on people’s stories about them taking the decisions to leave the respective jobs. Using the snow-ball method, I assessed six unstructured interviews with men and women alike in terms of age, earned incomes and who held a university diploma. The following analysis was grounded on a constructivist approach and sensible to the interviewees’ work of self-presentation. I also paid attention to the interactions people talked about and to the cultural resources they used in conversation. Irony, humor, vocabularies of motives, categories and contrast structures were the discursive tools people engaged in their stories most frequently determining me to consider them key-concepts of the present study. Moreover, gender was taken into consideration as discursive pattern. The conclusions of the paper point out to the fact that various types of narrative patterns emerged when my interviewees recollected their working experiences. One of the most salient was connected with the story-like construction of the recollections. People’s narrations included expositions, climaxes, all sorts of good and bad characters and trials they had to overcome. The second important pattern was given by the resembling flow of feelings as resulting from the narrations. All the interviwees were enthusiastic to enter the companies, felt alienated as time went by, deceit – in the end and resignation after some time outside the companies. The third notable pattern came with a difference in gender. In this spirit, women’s stories were constructed around their interactions with the others while men’s recollections were more self-centered.

Keywords: Story, pattern, discursive constructionism, vocabularies of motives, narrative self, working experience, corporation

[1] Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest, Romania,