Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Identity construction and career development interventions with emerging adults

an article by Jean Guichard and Cécile de Calan (Institut National d'Etudes du Travail et d'Orientation Professionnelle of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Paris), Jacques Pouyaud and Bernadette Dumora (Institut National as before and University of Bordeaux II, France) published in Journal of Vocational Behavior Volume 81 Issue 1 (August 2012)


Today's wealthy societies are more fluid, varied and complex than they were just a few decades ago. As a consequence, what were “vocational choices” at the beginning of the 20th century now appear as “life designing issues”.

In this context, contemporary research stresses the plurality and relative malleability of human subjects as well as their ability to take reflexive stances on their current and past experiences.

Fitting in such an epistemology, a self-constructing model is proposed as a basis for a life designing counselling interview. This model describes self-identity as a dynamic system of (past, present and expected) subjective identity forms (SIF), the synthesis and dynamism of which originate in a tension between two kinds of reflexivity.

Counselling interviews with emerging adults show that the elicitation of some expected SIF allows them to re-read their current and past experiences from such a perspective and constitutes a compelling incentive to act.


► Vocational choices or career development issues are now life designing issues.
► A self-construction model is proposed as a basis for life designing counselling.
► Identity is described as a dynamic system of subjective identity forms.
► A constructivist interview based on this model is outlined.
► Clients appear to rely on 2 forms of reflexivity during such counseling interviews.

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