“- I chose my job because I missed a lot working., In Albania, I worked for 2 years as a hairdresser. I stopped working one month before I came here. Now I can't work here. I miss it, because working is life, you are more alive when you work.
- Can I ask you why you can't work in France?
- Because I haven't got the papers yet…”
The word “work” can have several meanings. It is generally described as a professional activity, which is periodic and paid: to have a job, to work. However, if we look at its meaning as “labour”, it also refers to any other activity whose purpose is to produce, to create, and to the maintenance of things: manual work, intellectual work. It can also refer to a technique requiring the use of tools or to work on a material (woodworking for example). Work is also something that involves physical or mental efforts, and hard work. It can also refer to something negative, which can or cannot be endured, or a constraint: to have work (to do). In 2003, Christian Baudelot and Michel Gollac published “Travailler pour être heureux ?”, in which they say that “happiness from work comes from the power to assert one’s humanity by acting on nature or society”. In other words, work is what allows people to define themselves, to construct their way of being in society, to strengthen their relationship with others and their view of themselves. It is at work that social and personal identity is constructed.