The Impact of Work in People’s Lives: An Overview of the Boston College Working Project

On Wednesday, December 6th the Work Science Center hosted another guest for its Work Science Speaker Series. Dr. David Blustein is a professor in Boston College’s Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Education Psychology. Dr. Blustein spoke about the dichotomous purposes for which individuals work: to survive or to feel accomplished.

In his talk, entitled: “The impact of work in people’s lives: An overview of the Boston College Working Project”, Dr. Blustein reviewed the major findings from a comprehensive qualitative study of working in the U.S., known as the Boston College Working Project. This study sought to identify the lived experience of 61 adults using a purposive sample from a diverse array of settings with a particular focus on the participants’ work lives. This study identified a growing sense of social and psychological erosion in the workplace, which has manifested in a wide array of ways, including increased self- and other blame, as well as a fragmented sense of security.  The presentation concluded with future research directions and implications for public policy based on the very rich findings from this study.