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Studie- och yrkesorientering i AMS yrkesinformerande texter 1940-1970
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2003 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Careers education was first established in Sweden at the beginning of the 1940s. At that time it was mainly the concern of the Swedish Labour Market Board. The Labour Market Board started to develop a model, partly influenced by the activities of other countries in the field, that over the years grew into something exceptional with for instance a lot of activities in schools.

In the early stages the aim was the development and production of informational texts. The person behind most of the ideas was Einar Neymark. In 1971, responsibility for careers education was handed over to the school authorities except for the part concerning the production of occupational information texts.

The aim of this study is to improve our understanding of careers education as it is represented in occupational information texts produced by the Swedish Labour Market Board, in the period from 1940 - 1970.

The empirical research focuses on careers education and gaining an understanding through the texts within (not about) careers education. The research has a philosophical-hermeneutic orientation and falls into two parts. Starting from an assumption that the intentions behind careers education are met, three “careers education realities” are constructed for the sake of argument. These realities are then analysed using a theoretical framework grounded in educational sociology, or more precisely the thinking of Durkheim and Bernstein. The result shows that careers education plays an important role in making invisible the connection between school and society hierarchies and also in creating a collective conscience in a Durkheimian sense.

The first constructed “reality” shows that a careers education based on labour market considerations is both normative and deterministic. In this careers education the labour market consists of a variety of working lives depending on who you are and where you come from. For that reason careers education is both limiting and subordinating according to sex and class background.

A consciousness-raising careers education is moralizing and limiting. A “perfect” working life is presented to which individuals can relate their personal qualities. For that reason careers education also subordinates.

A study-motivating careers education is principally motivating for those who have already had good experiences of schooling. It limits and subordinates primarely in terms of sex. Possible relations between education and working life are mostly discussed in general terms. For example, education will be a good thing to have in a future working life as an insurance against unemployment.

The extended analysis, where the above mentioned results are put together, shows that careers education can be described as unjust, limiting and concealing. It is unfair in that it creates images about different and non-questionable working lives for young people to fit into, in that it perpetuates sex and class subordination, and in that it uses present individually related competencies as the grounds for future education and employment. It is limiting through being normative, moralizing and subordinating. It is concealing in that it is being selective concerning the information given in the texts prepared for pupils.

Careers education is also adjustable. It fits easily into different situations by being pragmatic and flexible, as is shown by the impact of other scientific areas. This adjustability makes it possible to use careers education regardless of the conception you may have of career choices or wherever careers education is carried out. Being adjustable is not something to be avoided in careers education, on the contrary it is a condition for its existence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet , 2003. , 346 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 70
Keyword [en]
Education, careers education, occupational information text, Swedish Labour Market Board, unjust, limiting, concealing, adjustable, invisible pedagogy, collective conscience
Keyword [sv]
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-95ISBN: 91-7305-420-8OAI: diva2:145164
Public defence
2003-05-09, Hörsal F, Humanisthuset, Umeå, 13:00
Available from: 2003-09-08 Created: 2003-09-08 Last updated: 2011-12-05Bibliographically approved

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