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Atypical career changes by highly qualified former executives have generated media interest over the last few years but have not been analyzed from a sociological perspective. This article aims to understand these improbable trajectories, drawing on fourteen interviews from emblematic cases of graduates from top French business schools who made radical career changes. Despite the fact that these career changes can be considered as real biographical ruptures and are presented, to varying degrees, in an opposition between past and present, we can still identify some continuity. This continuity appears in the re-activation, during the process of changing career, of inherited dispositions from the socialization they received while attending business school, finally showing some sociological consistency.

  • perception of work
  • managerial employee
  • educational and professional direction
  • elite school
  • socialization
  • career change
  • social network
  • occupational retraining
  • educational background
  • management degree
Ludivine Le Gros
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