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Career guidance for the individual or for the market?: Implications of EU Policy for career guidance
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Lifelong learning/Encell.
2012 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper will discuss the understanding of career phenomena in the 21st century by using the result from a critical content analysis of the way European policy documents regarding career guidance describe individuals’ career and career development, as these documents will influence policy development of career guidance practice at both national, regional and local level in European countries. The career field seems to be challenged in several ways. For instance, new approaches to career intervention have been suggested in order to fit the knowledge based, postmodern economy, as current approaches are supposed to be no longer functional because they are rooted in assumptions of stable personal characteristics, predictability and fixed organizations. Theories, models and the core concepts, that serve career guidance practitioners, seem to face a crisis as they are based upon the division of labour conditions of the 20th century, influenced by the consequences of industrialization. The social contract between employers and employees has been characterized by hierarchical dependence, stable organizations and relationships, loyalty, lifelong employment and job security.  The transition to the knowledge based society has resulted in the emergence of a new division of labour, where occupational and educational prospects are no longer linear, predictable or stable; employments are no longer secure or lifelong. Instead insecure workers shall become lifelong learners and create their own opportunities. Consequently, the transition to the knowledge based postmodern economy put new challenges on individuals in their career prospects as well as on career guidance practice. In addition, career supportive activities are organized in ways that might differ both within and between countries, as well as their directions for practice might differ according to the aims of career guidance. Besides, it is not to be taken for granted, that the aims of career guidance within each working field are clearly defined or articulated. The aims in turn, are important for the directions of practice and express some kind of ideology behind. However, the understanding of career phenomena is neither common nor clarified among practitioners, clients or policymakers, organizations and institutions. The notion of career lacks a definition in the literature, have multiple meanings and can be understood from different perspectives and disciplines. It is also an everyday word among people, and also used for different purposes. The aim with this paper is to contribute to Trans disciplinary and trans-national debates of understanding career phenomena in the 21st century, among and between working fields concerned with career guidance, by discussing the following questions:  What core essence of the phenomenon of individuals’ career and career development can be disclosed in European policy documents regarding career guidance? What perspectives on career and career development appear to be the guiding directions for career guidance practice in European countries in the 21st century? What significance and consequences will these guiding directions have for the role of future career guidance practice?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
Keyword [en]
career, career development, lifelong learning, guidance, European policies
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-20192OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-20192DiVA: diva2:583469
Conference
The Inaugural Conference of the ESREA Network on policy studie: Trans-nationalization of Educational Policy Making: Implication for Adult and Lifelong Learning, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, 9-12 Februari, 2012
Available from: 2013-01-08 Created: 2013-01-08 Last updated: 2013-01-08

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Citation style
  • apa
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More styles
Language
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