Étudiante-chercheure étoile September 2013

Marie-Pierre Bourdages-Sylvain

PhD student in Sociology
Université Laval

Award-winning publication: L'ethos contemporain du travail au Québec

Chapter published in: Vers une nouvelle conception de l'idéaltype du travailleur, Romaine Malenfant (dir), PUQ, 87-101


"Traditionally, the theme of work ethos—common work habits in a given society—has been analyzed in terms of the meanings of occupational activity and their significance. My research advances a unique methodological approach to refine many existing studies on work ethos by linking qualitative data to a body of interviews. This chapter highlights the dynamic character of work ethos and the processes that lead to its transformation, demonstrating, among other conclusions, that the centrality and finality of work are singular dimensions that are differently upset by work and life events."

The issue of the change in work values is of great social relevance since it sheds new light on the major social transformations that have taken place in Québec in recent decades. Marie-Pierre Bourdages-Sylvain's study astutely explores the province's economy, which is driven by production management based on tertiary and quaternary sectors and fragmented and flexible work organization. In addition, Québec's emergent work values are marked by the arrival of a new generation of workers, an increase in the general level of education and the singular importance of self-realization. By studying work values, we better understand the cooperation that unites workers in Québec as well as past and future economic, structural and cultural changes.