Research Topic

From Meaning of Working to Meaningful Lives: the Challenges of Expanding Decent Work

About this Research Topic

This Research Topic is focused on the daunting challenges of the 21st century: a decrease in stable and decent work for nearly all people around the globe. This challenge has the potential to reshape the nature of how people construct meaning about their work experiences, and their lives. The 12/14 articles ...

This Research Topic is focused on the daunting challenges of the 21st century: a decrease in stable and decent work for nearly all people around the globe. This challenge has the potential to reshape the nature of how people construct meaning about their work experiences, and their lives. The 12/14 articles that will comprise this Research Topic will each deal with specific psychological aspects of the changes in the world of work, with a focus on how people are adapting and how they can maximize their opportunities for a life of meaning and purpose. The changes in the nature of working are documented in various reports from organizations such as the UN and the International Labour Organization (ILO); moreover, social scientists and policy analysts are converging in their concerns that work will become less stable and available due to the rapid increase in automation and the decline in job creation. These changes, when considered collectively, convey a picture of working that is very disconcerting for psychologists. Decent work is a concept promoted by the UN and ILO that underscores the need for work that offers. The 2008 declaration defines the ILO Decent Work Agenda through strategic objectives but it is notable that decent work has not been defined within psychology; this Research Topic will help to create a critically needed definition that will significantly help to advance psychological scholarship on the nature of working in the 21st century.

Beyond the financial and material contingencies and rewards of work, the psychological importance of work is well-documented in empirical literature. People experience better mental health and physical health when they are engaged in decent work, and these positive effects extend to family and community. In post-industrial economy, however, psychology does not address the scope of change in the quality of work in contemporary society in which some individuals must barely survive, whereas others thrive.

This Research Topic is a forum to explore how people understand the changing nature of work through conceptual, empirical, and case study papers. The articles in this topic should include a focus on the changes in the world of work with an emphasis on how people construct meaning about work and lives. This notion of meaningfulness in work and lives can be conceptually reconfigured in terms of cognitive, emotional, and relational domains of functioning. The implications of the Research Topic extend to psychological theory and practices, and public policy.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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