The professional identity of solicitors : stereotypes and stigma, dirty work and disidentification
Diggines, Fleur (2009) The professional identity of solicitors : stereotypes and stigma, dirty work and disidentification. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2338605~S15
For many centuries the legal profession has maintained a distinct image secured by
institutional, organizational and symbolic boundaries. The thesis acknowledges
that these boundaries have weakened over time. Of interest to this thesis is one
symbolic boundary that can maintain distinction: the professional identity of
members of the legal profession.
The research has at its focus the identity of a specific group of legal professionals;
namely, solicitors in mid-market law firms. The research examines the central
constructs of solicitor identity and the dominant influences upon this identity.
Answers to this help shape a contemporary account of these professionals.
The empirical study begins with the proposition that social identity theory is a
viable means through which identity formation can be understood. This is in
recognition that membership of a valued group facilitates the formation and
preservation of a unique identity. Semi-structured interviews allow access to
solicitors’ accounts of their professional identities.
The research reveals that respondents struggle to express their own professional
identity and their limited reflections lack positive overtones. There is instead a
greater concern for outsiders’ adverse opinions about solicitors and more generally
the legal profession. Additionally, the research uncovers that the most dominant
influences upon respondents’ identity are negative and threatening ones. Processes
and mechanisms used by respondents to protect themselves from identity threats
were also unveiled; namely, disidentification, displacement of blame, and
formulating an identity around ‘what one is not’. The thesis highlights too how
membership of the legal profession now has little value and saliency as an identity
category for the respondents. Finally, the thesis contributes an empirical study on
the under-researched area of solicitor identity to organization studies.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
K Law > K Law (General)
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Identity (Psychology), Corporate culture, Lawyers|
|Official Date:||December 2009|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Warwick Business School|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Morgan, Glenn ; Robertson, Maxine Jane, 1959-|
|Sponsors:||Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)|
|Extent:||viii, 415 leaves : ill.|
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