The Image (re)construction process

Who do you aim to be at work/in your private life? Which image are you presenting in which life domain? The aim of the research is to look at image construction in work and non-work life domains as well as the attainment of self-esteem on the one hand and the development of mental health complaints on the other hand.

In a postmodern world that is characterised by change and uncertainty, you may experience pressure of competing and contrasting expectations. In each of your life domains - family, work/study and online places - you may feel like the world expects you to be competent. Who you are therefore tends to become more and more a question of telling an exciting and interesting story about yourself, and your story needs to be just as exciting as the narratives of those around you.

The proposed PhD research project aims to present an alternative theoretical lens on the development of mental health complaints in today’s society, especially among young professionals. The project aims to shed light on how and why millennial workers engage in what is called a ‘work/non-work image (re)construction process’. The project will reflect on the following questions:

  • How, why and when do individual workers engage in a process in which they construct their image(s) in the work and non-work domains?
  • What are the relationships, if any, between the image (re)construction process individuals engage in and potential positive and negative consequences?


January 2020 - January 2024


Nyenrode Business Universiteit


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