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E-mail and Behavioral Changes by Fernando Lagrana

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2From Role to Identity

2.1. Roles, boundaries and transitions

In the Preamble, when we described a fictional person’s typical day, we show the succession of everyday roles he adopts depending on the social context and locations which he finds himself in. These locations are easily identifiable: home, school, office, sports club, bar or his parents’ home. The transition from one role to another occurs via implicit or explicit transitions, which correspond mainly with transitions from one place to another: a train journey, the journey from school to the station, then the move to the sports club.

If we look at the professional context, the scene described shows the typical transitions that occur on a working day: home–work, work–work (moving from the role of team leader to that of subordinate) and work–third place (from the office to the sports club, then from the office to the bar) [ASH 00]. The time boundaries between the different roles, as well as the spatial boundaries within which a person occupies those roles, are well defined.

Until recently, the role and functions that form the basis of our identities were well defined in space and time. We were accustomed, as in the example of Angel Rafran, to be a husband and a father in the morning at home, an accountant at the office during the day, a squash partner at the sports club during the lunch break, an affable colleague at the bar after work, a busy son visiting his parents before going home, etc.

Our daily lives were made ...

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