Families under pressure: The costs of vocational calling, and what can be done about them

Stephanos Anastasiadis, Anica Zeyen

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This conceptual article extends the literature on the disadvantages of calling. The article makes four main contributions. First, it argues that some of the burden of calling is shouldered not by called individuals or their employers, but rather by close family members. Second, it argues that calling influences work-life ideology, limiting a called person’s ability to exercise choice and self-manage their work-life boundary. Third, it introduces the novel notion of the sacrifice-reliant organisation, which relies on calling to achieve organisational goals. Fourth, the article argues normatively that organisations with called members have an enhanced duty of care towards families of its members that is commensurate with the extent to which they rely on calling to achieve their goals. Using ethics of care, it also develops guidelines on the extent and components of such an enhanced duty of care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-857
Number of pages17
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2021


  • calling
  • families
  • ethics of care

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