Introduction: What Does the Social Construction of Stress Mean?
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Over the last three decades, stress and other forms of suffering at work (including burnout, mobbing, bullying and issues relating to the work-life balance) have emerged as important social and medical issues in Western countries. Despite the lack of empirical data supporting the clinical, biological and psychological causes of stress, most experts, academics and stakeholders in the stress management field behave as if stress were an objective illness, clearly diagnosable and definable in different social and cultural situations. On the contrary, researches gathered in this book show how perception of stressors and stress processes is embedded both in macro-social and micro-social contexts. These context frame actors’ strategies created and actors construct the situations: in that way, stress and suffering at work can be understood as the result of management practices, labour union strategies, the innovative theories of psychologists or doctors, news magazine articles, public health policies and so on.
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