Role as Resource for Action in Public Service

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Abstract

In this chapter we offer a conceptual framework for the understanding of public service that allows for the incorporation of sociological themes of organizational structure and institutional power. We build on sociological conceptualizations of the self found in role identity theory, using examples from research on health care workers to show how role identities and organizational structures can both limit and enhance the likelihood of principled dissent. Finally, we extend our theoretical framework to better understand how community service is employed to address the structural sources of social problems.

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