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Title: Conflicting perspectives on career : implications for career guidance and social justice
Other Titles: Career guidance for social justice : contesting neoliberalism
Authors: Bergmo-Prvulovic, Ingela
Keywords: Social justice -- Vocational guidance
Vocational guidance -- Philosophy
Career development
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Bergmo-Prvulovic, I. (2018). Conflicting perspectives on career : implications for career guidance and social justice. In T. Hooley, R. G. Sultana & R. Thomsen (Eds.), Career guidance for social justice : contesting neoliberalism (pp. 143-158). London: Routledge.
Abstract: Many researchers in the field of education have stated that current trends in the world of education and work are framed by neoliberalism (inter alia Fejes, Olson, Rahm, Dahlstedt, & Sandberg, 2016 ; Torres, 2009). The current volume addresses the fact that these trends also affect career guidance. Those who work in the fi eld of career guidance can be said to belong to what Brante (2014) defi nes as the ‘human service professions’ ’ who manage and deliver the services of the welfare state (Brante, 2014). Brante (ibid.) argues that human service professions have been guided by a ‘professional logic’ which legitimises them through their efforts to safeguard social justice for each citizen, rather than being solely motivated by self-interest. However, during the 1980s, the political ideology underpinning the welfare state was challenged by arguments claiming that such a system made the individual inactive and passive. A new set of ideological beliefs—neoliberalism— revolved around a commitment to an individual’s “free choice”, and an assumption that societies are strongest when they are based on the dynamics and principles of the competitive market (Brante, 2014). These principles were integrated into the delivery of the welfare state including fields such as health and education through the discourse and practices of New Public Management (NPM) (Brante, 2014 ; Sultana, 2011 , chapter 1 , this volume). NPM emphasises economic efficiency and makes use of management practices such as supervision and detailed regulation and review of professional practice (Brante, 2014). Neoliberalism can be understood as a set of economic, political and cultural responses to various crises which view the market as the best way to organise and regulate social, political, and personal lives (Rooney & Rawlinson, 2016). Neoliberalism can also be understood as fostering ‘governmentality’ and self-government (see, for instance, Bengtsson, 2016 ; Rooney & Rawlinson, 2016); and chapters 3 and 16 , this volume. However, as Hooley and Sultana (2016 ) note, and as the International Association for Educational Guidance (IAEVG, 2013) declaration highlights, economic and social injustice has increased during recent years as a result of this neoliberal turn. At the simplest level, social justice might be described as a fair and just relationship between the individual and society. Further reflection shows, however, that the term is not as easily defi ned as that, as it can be understood from a range of perspectives and traditions ( Sabbagh & Schmitt, 2016a , 2016b). This chapter focuses on how social justice might be understood in terms of societal structure and its institutions (Rawls, 1971). It also considers social justice within work settings (van Dijke & De Cremer, 2016), particularly in relation to the transformations that are taking place (Montada & Maes, 2016). According to Burke (2011), social justice is a call addressed to society as a whole, not merely to the individual: as such, the demand can only be met by the state. In moral philosophy, John Rawls (1971) provides a classic theory of justice, stating that the foundational structure of economic, political and social institutions should be in accordance with our intuitive perception of justice—that is, such principles that free and rational persons would agree on in an equal situation. Furthermore, Rawls (ibid.) draws upon Immanuel Kant’s reasoning when he argues for principles of justice that do not treat people as a means, but as an end. Clearly, further exploration is needed to better understand what ‘career’ and ‘social justice’ mean in a neoliberal world, and the implications that these have for career guidance. This chapter, therefore, first provides an introduction that highlights the transformation of career contexts and increased focus on guidance in a neoliberal world. Next explored is the emergent need for a social justice agenda in the face of neoliberalism, followed by a discussion of ‘career’ as a ‘bridging object’. The fourth section illustrates various meanings of ‘career’ within a triad of actors, and illuminates conflicting perspectives that frame and surround the idea. Finally, there is a tentative discussion of the implications these conflicting perspectives will have for the meaning given to social justice among the actors in each field, along with a discussion of possible effects on career guidance.
ISBN: 9781138087385
Appears in Collections:Career guidance for social justice : contesting neoliberalism

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