Conference paper Open Access

The Resilience of Occupations in Occupational Fields. Disruption and Reinstitutionalisation of the Piano Makers' Occupation

Baumeler, Carmen; Engelage, Sonja; Strebel, Alexandra

Recurrently, dual vocational education and training systems are said to be unable to adapt to rapid changes of labour market requirements because of their large number of specialised occupations. To reduce the number of occupations and create broader profiles is one proposal for increasing flexibility, for example, by combining similar occupations in so-called occupational fields. However, little is known about the actual practices of establishing occupational fields. Based on the case study of piano makers in Switzerland, we shed light on an occupational associations’ institutional work. Regulatory changes disrupted the piano makers’ occupation. Yet, the occupational association reinstitutionalised it as part of the musical instrument makers’ occupational field together with other occupations. More than a decade later, the piano makers are reintroducing their former occupational title, which is deeply connected to their occupational identity. Therefore, this case study illustrates the resilience of occupations within occupational fields.

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