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Social constructionism in the study of career: accessing the parts that other approaches can not reach
journal contributionposted on 23.06.2009 by Laurie Cohen, Joanne Duberley, Mary Mallon
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
In this article we consider the contribution of a social constructionist perspective to our understandings of career. We examine this approach in relation to two studies: a study of women's career transition from organizational employment to portfolio work, and a study of the careers of research scientists. Within the career literature a dichotomy has emerged between what are seen as “traditional” and “new” careers. On the face of it these studies seem to neatly illustrate this dichotomy. However, when examined from a social constructionist perspective, questions are raised about the viability of this binarism. In this article we argue this approach enables us to transcend dualisms which have prevailed in career theory, facilitates analyses of the relationship between careers and the social contexts in which they are embedded, and illuminates issues of power and ideology which are often eclipsed by more positivistic research approaches.
- Business and Economics