'I wasn't originally a banker, but...': Bridging Individual Experiences and Organizational Expectations in Accounts of 'Alternative Career Paths'

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Even as Danish banks are seeking to diversify in terms of the people they bring in and the careers they offer, existing employees who have taken ‘alternative career paths’ are expected to account for the ways in which they relate to the still powerful norm of ‘the banker’. Relying on the theoretical assumption that subject positions are established and performed through creative reiterations of existing norms, this paper explores how personal experiences are related to organizational expectations. The theoretical argument is that Judith Butler’s conceptualization of performativity may contribute to the theoretical and analytical exploration of discursive and rhetorical processes of identity formation. Analysis of the ways in which nine ‘untraditional bankers’ account for themselves shows two main performative strategies: normalization and differentiation. However, the informants do not just reproduce existing norms, but also use strategies of bridging to create new conditions of possibility.
TidsskriftCulture and Organization
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)213-229
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2011
Udgivet eksterntJa

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