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dc.contributor.authorVieira, Maria Manuel-
dc.contributor.authorDionisio, Bruno-
dc.contributor.authorPappamikail, Lia-
dc.identifier.citationVieira, M. M., Dionisio, B., & Pappamikail, L. (2018). Shaping possible futures in Portugal : career guidance in schools between authenticity and social justice. In T. Hooley, R. G. Sultana & R. Thomsen (Eds.), Career guidance for social justice : contesting neoliberalism (pp. 241-254). London: Routledge.en_GB
dc.description.abstractAs one of the most important institutional settings in contemporary societies, modern education systems face multiple challenges deriving from their plural composition. Schools bring together individuals with different needs and demands requiring responses that are appropriate (singular) but, at the same time, do not undermine the principle of equality guiding democratic education systems. Tensions can emerge around the principles of justice which should apply in each situation, as an effect of the challenges made to institutions by individualisation—understood as the process of construction of reflexive individuals within social institutions. (Beck, 1992; Beck & Beck- Gernsheim, 2001; Martuccelli, 2010). In modern Western societies, individualisation is largely staged in the education system due to its compulsory presence in people’s biographies. At the present time, the school has a monopoly on (at least the initial) validation of individuals through earned credentials (Collins, 1979). At the same time, at a certain point in their academic career, it ‘invites’ students to make responsible occupational choices that should commit them to a professional (and life) project in the future; possible futures that ought to be the expression of ‘authentic’ choices (Taylor, 1989, 1991). This issue is particularly critical in the Portuguese education system, since it compels students subject to different social constraints and with contrasting abilities to go through academic trials and to make choices about their future occupation at a relatively early stage in their school career (by the age of 15), and to be responsible for it. In fact, unlike the generalist culture underlying the Portuguese basic education curriculum, secondary education is based on knowledge specialisation. On entry to the secondary level (the tenth year of study), students have to choose a more focused educational path from a diverse range of options: they may either undertake general education or vocational programmes as part of secondary education. In line with one of the key cultural forms—self-governance—that characterises the Western social imagination (Taylor, 2004), the Portuguese education system is indeed rich in ‘opportunities’ to choose, and always involves the young person in these choices. Career guidance and occupational choices are thus central to social justice in the school space. Reflecting the plural demands present in contemporary societies (Fraser, 2001), career guidance and occupational choices condense one major challenge faced by Western education systems today. That is, to combine achieving schooling for all—meeting the demand for equality (through redistribution of resources) -, with respect for each student— meeting the demand for recognition (of individual differences). This chapter aims to explore the tension between the obligation to choose an occupational path within a framework of constraints—particularly uncertainty and precariousness in a neoliberal labour market—which the education system imposes upon all students, with the contemporary normative injunction to pursue authenticity (Taylor, 1991) and self- accomplishment, despite the risks (of failure) (Beck & Beck-Gernsheim, 2001). We will do so by adopting a sociological descriptive approach, meaning that, unlike a normative ‘should-be’ approach, sociologists are expected to ‘reveal what ‘is’—‘the ‘is’ including the very particular data comprised by the actors’ enunciation as to what should be’, as Heinich puts it (2012, cited in Masson & Schrecker, 2016). Some arguments about this tension are briefly presented in the first part of this chapter. Then, focusing more specifically on the Portuguese context, we explore the perspectives of career guidance counsellors, as well as students, in this regard. Finally, we underline the challenges posed by plural principles of justice and the limits placed on their practical application in schools. The analysis underpinning this chapter is mainly drawn from empirical data collected as part of the project ‘Open future: uncertainty and risk in school choices’ (Vieira, 2016 ; Vieira, Pappámikail, & Resende, 2013). In this chapter we will use data from both the survey applied to the students (n = 1,793) attending the tenth and twelfth year of study in six contrasting Portuguese state schools (contrasting in terms of urban/rural context; general/vocational courses offered; middle-class/working class prevalence) and in-depth individual interviews with 24 secondary level students from three out of those six schools (12 boys/12 girls; 13 from the tenth year and 11 from the twelfth year of study; between the ages of 16 and 21). We will also use information from career guidance counsellors interviewed in this project and in an earlier project for PhD research (Dionísio, 2009).en_GB
dc.subjectSocial justice -- Vocational guidanceen_GB
dc.subjectCareer development -- Portugalen_GB
dc.subjectVocational guidance -- Philosophyen_GB
dc.titleShaping possible futures in Portugal : career guidance in schools between authenticity and social justiceen_GB
dc.title.alternativeCareer guidance for social justice : contesting neoliberalismen_GB
dc.rights.holderThe copyright of this work belongs to the author(s)/publisher. The rights of this work are as defined by the appropriate Copyright Legislation or as modified by any successive legislation. Users may access this work and can make use of the information contained in accordance with the Copyright Legislation provided that the author must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the prior permission of the copyright holder.en_GB
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