Storying career choice: employing narrative approaches to better understand students’ experience of choosing social work as a preferred career

Mensinga, Jo (2009) Storying career choice: employing narrative approaches to better understand students’ experience of choosing social work as a preferred career. Qualitative Social Work, 8 (2). pp. 193-209.

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Abstract

Narrative methodologies promise an increased understanding of the place career choice holds for those entering the social work profession. However, as a novice researcher the plethora of approaches to be negotiated can be overwhelming. While narrative researchers tend to position their projects according to the perceived purpose and the emergent benefits of the approach, in practice they must also make decisions about whether to understand a narrative as a structural or a representational construct, explore it holistically or categorically, and/or focus on the narrative’s content rather than its form. Several researchers using narrative methodologies to explore career/life choice stories provide useful insights into how participants make meaning of and navigate their way through the myriad of personal, social and professional agendas to make their decisions. However for me, Clandinin and Connelly’s narrative inquiry approach combined with Riessman’s notion of social positioning provided a deeper understanding about the gendered nuances of aspiring social worker’s motivation for entering the profession.

Item ID: 9278
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: career choice; gender; meaning making; narrative inquiry; social positioning
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ISSN: 1741-3117
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2010 06:12
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930199 Learner and Learning not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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