Sam Beatty

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Harriet Hayes

Degree Award Date

Fall 2009


structural symbolic interactionist framework, employment, lifeguarding, individual sense of identity


Sociology | Work, Economy and Organizations


Paid employment plays such a significant role in our daily existence that we often define ourselves in terms of our jobs. Using a structural symbolic interactionist framework, this study examines the connection between the occupation of lifeguarding and one's sense of identity through character values that caused participants to define this job as a profession, the job's impact on emotional labor, and effects while on and off the lifeguard stand. Participants took part in in-depth interviews exploring personal views of lifeguarding and the influence the job has on them when they are at the workplace and when they are not.