Lola’s Story: The Struggle to Build a Professional Identity with No Good Jobs in Sight

  • María Eugenia Cardenal de la Nuez
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Oral History book series (PSOH)


This chapter brings a key aspect of personal identity into focus: professional identity. I look at how young Spanish university graduates construct their professional identities under highly adverse socioeconomic conditions. For the last eight years, Spain has been caught in an economic depression, with shrinking employment and a rollback in worker’s rights. Insecurity and lower wages have pervaded the entire employment structure, including jobs for graduates (Ministerio 96-105). How do university graduates adjust their work, professional, and personal expectations to the reality of a declining and progressively insecure job market? And in doing so, what “forms of identity” (Dubar 2000: 185)1 do they develop in the face of precarious employment? What is the role of the family, the educational system, and peers in the construction of these forms of identity? These were the main questions that guided the project.2


Professional Identity Life Story Oral History Identity Construction Proactive Person 
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Copyright information

© María Eugenia Cardenal de la Nuez 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Eugenia Cardenal de la Nuez

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