Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The consumption of work: Representations and interpretations of the meaning of work at a UK university

Chertkovskaya, Ekaterina; Korczynski, Marek; Taylor, Scott


Ekaterina Chertkovskaya

Professor of Sociology of Work and Human Resource Management

Scott Taylor


This paper focuses on representations of the nexus of work, meaning and consumption as experienced by university students. We develop an empirically based argument that the meaning of work is being constructed as an object of consumption on a British university campus. We suggest that this indicates two key changes in representations of the meaning of work. First, there is a significant shift in the social construction of orientations to work towards what we term ‘consumption of work’. Second, we argue that this new social construction is made up of three dimensions: consumption of an idealised image of work, consumption through specific work processes and consumption of self-development opportunities at work. We conclude by suggesting ways in which this argument could be researched further.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 3, 2017
Online Publication Date Oct 11, 2017
Publication Date Jul 1, 2020
Deposit Date Sep 18, 2017
Publicly Available Date Oct 12, 2018
Journal Organization
Print ISSN 1350-5084
Electronic ISSN 1461-7323
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 4
Pages 517-536
Keywords Consumption, Work, Meaning, Employer branding, University
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations