[csaa-forum] Work & Self Development: An Interdisciplinary conference

Amanda Wise amanda.wise at mq.edu.au
Wed Jul 13 09:33:56 CST 2011

 ***Apologies for Cross-Posting***

"Work and Self-Development: an Interdisciplinary Conference"

November 10-11th, 2011, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

Many people are worried about work, perhaps in more complex ways than ever
before. Young people entering work lack the orientation once provided by
established career paths, mid-life workers are often subject to
disorienting shifts in role and difficulties finding the right ‘work-life’
balance, and many people leaving work find their lives suddenly bereft of
meaning. It is widely believed that work has become increasingly stressful
and demanding over the past few decades, with rises in levels of
depressive illness, psychological disorders related to low self-esteem,
and even suicides, attributed to it. At the same time, working provides
people with opportunities to develop skills, capacities, and social
relations that can sustain a healthy sense of self -- opportunities that
might not be found in other spheres of modern life.

The aim of this conference is to throw light on the role of work in
processes of self-formation, self-realization, and pathologies of the
self. Papers are invited from any disciplinary or theoretical perspective
that can illuminate the link between work and self-development. Papers
that address the following issues are especially welcome:

- Self-development is partly a matter of cognitive capacities reaching
maturation. How is the development of cognitive capacities affected, both
positively and negatively, by new types of work and patterns of working

- Self-development also involves the formation of emotional capacities,
including the ability to have appropriate feelings. How are these affected
by work, especially work that involves emotional labour?

- How does working activity affect the development of social skills and
moral competences? In what ways, and to what extent, do the demands of
successful work undermine or help to sustain moral consciousness?

- Can changing levels of psychological illness, or for that matter
physical illness, be explained by changes in the organization of work?

- What practical measures can be introduced to address the pathologies of
self associated with working?

- In modern, liberal, pluralist societies, identities can be constructed
in many different ways. Is it legitimate, then, to claim that work has a
special role in self-formation? Is work central to self-development, or it
just one possible determinant of it amongst others?

Abstracts of up to 300 words should be submitted no later than August 31st
to Dr Paul Taylor: paul.taylor at mq.edu.au.

Conference organisers: Prof Nicholas Smith and A/Prof Jean-Philippe
Conference coordinator: Dr Paul Taylor.

A/Prof Jean-Philippe Deranty
Acting Head of Department
Faculty of Arts
Macquarie University
NSW 2109

tel: 61 2 9850 6773

staff page: www.phil.mq.edu.au/staff/deranty.htm

Dr Amanda Wise
Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Research on Social Inclusion,
Macquarie University NSW 2109
Ph: +61 2 9850-8835
Email: amanda.wise at mq.edu.au
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