Social career influences of Xhosa adolescents elicited using the Systems Theory Framework in a peri-urban South African township

Albien, A. J. ; Naidoo, A. V. (2016-11-03)

CITATION: Albien, A. J. & Naidoo, A. V. 2016. Social career influences of Xhosa adolescents elicited using the Systems Theory Framework in a peri-urban South African township. South African Journal of Higher Education, 30(3):111‒137, doi:10.20853/30-3-668.

The original publication is available at http://www.journals.ac.za/index.php/sajhe

Article

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The present study describes social-level influences on black high school learners from a peri-urban township of career choices that were elicited using the qualitative career measure, My System of Career Influences (MSCI). The prominent influences on the career decision-making processes of isiXhosa-speaking adolescents included family, school and peer relationships, as well as media role models and cultural factors. While family support was salient, limited direct parental involvement in career planning was voiced. The school context provided rich examples of influences, such as subject mastery, that helped build self-efficacy beliefs and vicarious learning. In contrast, friends were described as both supportive and negative influences. Africentric narratives of overcoming hardship and adversity were explored that seemed to form resilient mechanisms strongly linked to a black racial identity. The reconciliation of ‘western’ career aspirations with rural cultural expectations in forming a coherent self-concept may be the greatest challenge in vocational identity development for black adolescents.

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