Homo interculturalis – Identity, interculturality and career learning within European Union institutions

This recently published doctoral dissertation examines the subjective dimensions of intra-EU labour mobility among staff working for decentralized EU agencies located in Greece (Cedefop), Ireland (Eurofound) and Italy (European Training Foundation), and the development of their identity, interculturality and career capitals.

The 20 staff members interviewed for this research were attracted by the intercultural aspects and international career opportunities that these European Union agencies offered. The study addressed their personal motivation, professional competences and social networks in relation to global careers. In general, respondents were constructively critical about how professionalism is expressed in an international work environment, and how interculturality and Europeanness are demonstrated. They occasionally questioned what it means to be intercultural or to feel European.

 The common characteristic of identity, interculturality and career capitals seems to be their processual, interactional and contextual nature. The results suggest that in an international professional environment the investigated capitals are closely intertwined. They express themselves differently depending on prevailing conditions, and respond to various circumstantial factors usually in a flexible way. Perplexities and uncertainties experienced around interculturality originated usually from the need to have one’s referential frameworks modified and related identifications adapted to living abroad and working at a supranational level.

You are welcome read the thesis on-line: Homo interculturalis – Identity, interculturality and career learning within European Union institutions.