Particularly careers, identities, and institutions. Lots of great stuff about the Chicago School of Sociologists, particularly Strauss and Hughes.
a) careers fuse the objective and the subjective;
b) careers entail status passages;
c) careers are rightfully properties of collectives;
d) careers link individuals to the social structure.
“People don’t make careers, careers make people” – Van Maanen (1977)
Thomas says it’s more recursive. “Institutions could have no reality independent of the lives they shaped.”
Foote (1951:17) “A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but a person by another name will act according to that name.”
“Whether or not subjective interpretations accurately describe a person’s objective career is irrelevant. What counts is whether such interpretations spur individuals to accept or reject the institutions their careers encode.”
But the Chicago school over-estimated institutional stability. When people are embedded in several institutions simultaneously, it is “quite likely that the subcultural forces for institutional change will arise.” (Schein, 1978, Barley, 1989)