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Career development told through narrative research: exploring the stories of Italian and English young people

  • Tiziana Di PalmaEmail author
  • Hazel Reid
Article

Abstract

To construct a career is a complex developmental task that involves several contextual and personal factors. The uncertainty and instability that characterise modern societies are evident in many European countries. The present study aimed to explore the processes of career development and meaning-making, and how cultural and contextual factors may affect students’ career choices and development. Twenty-one Italian and 20 English first-year university students produced written narratives inspired by the same prompt. Findings confirm differences in career development and choices linked to the effect of contextual factors and to different life story trajectories.

Keywords

Career development Narrative approach Adulthood transition 

Résumé

Approche narrative du développement de carrière : exploration de récits de jeunes italiens et anglais Construire une carrière est une tâche de longue haleine et complexe, qui implique plusieurs facteurs contextuels et personnels. L’incertitude et l’instabilité qui caractérisent les sociétés modernes sont évidentes dans de nombreux pays européens. La présente étude visait à explorer les processus de développement de carrière et de production de sens, et comment les facteurs culturels et contextuels peuvent affecter les choix de carrière et le développement des étudiants. Vingt-et-un étudiants italiens et 20 étudiants anglais de première année ont produit des récits écrits sur la base d’une même consigne. Les résultats montrent des différences dans le développement de la carrière et les choix liés à l’effet des facteurs contextuels et aux différentes trajectoires des histoires de vie.

Zusammenfassung

Die Entwicklung der persönlichen Karriere, erzählt aus der Perspektive narrativer Forschung: Analysen der Geschichten von italienischen und englischen Jugendlichen Sich eine geeignete berufliche Laufbahn zu konstruieren ist eine komplexe Entwicklungsaufgabe, die von verschiedene kontextuellen und persönlichen Faktoren beeinflusst wird. Unsicherheit und Instabilität, welche moderne Gesellschaften kennzeichnen, sind in vielen Ländern Europas unübersehbar. Die vorliegende Studie hat zum Ziel, die Prozesse der Laufbahnentwicklung und der Entwicklung von Sinnhaftigkeit, sowie kulturelle und kontextuelle Einflüsse auf die Studienwahl und Laufbahnplanung von Studierenden zu untersuchen. 21 italienische und 20 englische universitäre Studienanfänger schrieben Narrative, die durch ein und dieselbe Aufforderung angeregt wurden. Die Ergebnisse bestätigen die Abhängigkeit unterschiedlicher Laufbahnpläne von kontextuellen Faktoren sowie von unterschiedlichen lebensgeschichtlichen Trajektorien.

Resumen

El desarrollo de la carrera explicado a través de investigación narrativa: explorando las historias de jóvenes italianos e ingleses Construir una carrera es una tarea compleja que involucra diversos factores personales y contextuales. La incertidumbre y la inestabilidad que caracteriza las sociedades modernas son evidentes en muchos paises europeos. El presente estudio intentó explorar los procesos de desarrollo de la carrera y de creación de sentido y de cómo los factores contextuales y culturales afectan al desarrollo de la carrera y las elecciones de los estudiantes. Veintiún estudiantes universitarios italianos y veinte estudiantes universitarios ingleses de primer curso produjeron narrativas escritas inspiradas por la misma indicación. Los resultados confirman las diferencias en el desarrollo de la carrera y en las elecciones vinculadas al efecto de factores contextuales y a distintas historias sobre las trayectorias de vida.

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political SciencesUniversity of Naples, Federico IINaplesItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationCanterbury Christ Church UniversityCanterburyUK

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