Exploring grade 12 Kayamandi adolescents' career influences using the Systems Theory Framework of Career Development

Albien, Anouk Jasmine (2013-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Major gaps exist in the understanding of career development across diverse population groups and cultures, a lacuna that postmodern career counselling approaches aim to address. Career choices have been historically constrained for many South Africans by the Apartheid system, indicating the prescribing effects that socio-political and economic factors exert on the field of career psychology. Because disadvantaged adolescents are such an under-researched group, research is needed to provide cogent accounts of their experiences. The Systems Theory Framework of career development (STF) was chosen to contextualise the multitude of career influences present in facing a key life transition in Makupula High School learners in the Kayamandi township. The present research examined the complex interplay of contextual influences that impacts this sample of Grade 12 learners in making career decisions, to provide insight into perceived career opportunities, enablers and unique contextual constraints. The research aimed to identify individual, social and environmental-societal level influences present in career decision-making, using the qualitative career measure My Systems of Career Influences (MSCI) as well as individual interviews and a focus group. Respondents‟ accounts of self-awareness, surrounding environmental resources, influences of significant others (parents, teachers and peers), and past, present and future effects were analysed. At an individual level, a scarcity of opportunities for self-reflection and critical thinking was observed, which culminated in limited insight into personal abilities and poor integration of personal information in occupational choices. High self-efficacy beliefs and expectations were noted, with a sense of responsibility assumed for constructing successful career paths. However, high order cognitive processes, such as future planning, were absent, showing the need for career counselling to build career adaptability and resilience. Social level influences were the most prominent influences, indicating the importance attached to family support, although a lack of parental involvement in career planning was voiced due to the low occupational status of parents. The school context provided examples of subject mastery and career information from teachers; in contrast, friends were described as dual entities, being supportive and providing negative influences. A lack of visible local role models and success pathways resulted in career choices being based on media depictions of careers as well as media role models, in the absence of additional accessible career information. The theme of career myths illustrated the need for accurate career information, and the theme of cultural identity emerged. Africentric narratives of overcoming suffering formed resilient mechanisms that were linked to a black racial identity, yet constrained movements away from extended family structures and the township. The reconciliation of “western” career aspirations with rural roots in forming a coherent self-concept may be the greatest challenge in vocational identity development for disadvantaged adolescents. At the environmental-societal level, Kayamandi was discussed as an enabling and disadvantageous environment, and reference was made to the resources and language barriers that were inherent in Stellenbosch town. Lastly, MSCI feedback indicated the necessity of reflection processes, and criticisms were also discussed. Themes that emerged from the learners‟ career stories can assist in providing insight that would aid future career development, counselling processes and the creation of context-specific interventions.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Daar bestaan groot leemtes in die verstaan van loopbaan-ontwikkeling by verskillende bevolkingsgroepe en kulture, „n gaping wat postmoderne beroepsberaders poog om aan te spreek. In die verlede is beroepskeuses vir vele Suid-Afrikaners beperk deur die Apartheidstelsel, wat dui op die voorskriftelike impak van sosio-politiese en ekonomiese faktore op die gebied van beroepsielkunde. Gegewe dat daar min navorsing gedoen is aangaande benadeelde adolessente, is navorsing nodig om koherente weergawes van hul ervarings te verskaf. Die Sisteemteorieraamwerk van loopbaan-ontwikkeling (Systems Theory Framework, STF) is gebruik om die menigte van beroeps-invloede te kontekstualiseer wat gepaard gaan met „n belangrike lewensverandering by leerders verbonde aan die Hoërskool Makupula in die Kayamandi-dorpsgebied. Die huidige navorsing het die komplekse wisselwerking van kontekstuele invloede ondersoek wat hierdie steekproef van graad 12-leerders beïnvloed het rakende loopbaankeuses, en poog om die nodige insig te verskaf van waargenome loopbaangeleenthede, ondersteuningsnetwerke (“enablers”) en spesifieke kontekstuele beperkings. Die navorsingsdoelwitte behels die identifisering van individuele-, sosiale- asook omgewings-en-samelewingsvlakke wat loopbaankeuses beïnvloed. Die kwalitatiewe loopbaanmeetinstrument “My Systems of Career Influences” (MSCI), individuele onderhoude en „n fokusgroep is gebruik. Die respondente se weergawes van “self,” beskikbare omgewings-hulpbronne, invloede van betekenisvolle ander (ouers, opvoeders en portuurgroepe) asook die impak van die verlede, hede en die toekoms is ontleed. Die individuele vlak van ontleding het gebreke rakende self-refleksie en kritiese denke aangedui, wat gelei het tot die beperkte insig van persoonlike vermoëns en die gebrekkige integrasie van persoonlike inligting aangaande loopbaankeuses. Die respondente het sterk oortuigings van self-doeltreffendheid getoon, en „n sin van die nodige verantwoordelikheid vir die daarstelling van suksesvolle loopbaanrigtings. Hierteenoor egter het hoë-orde kognitiewe prosesse, soos toekomsbeplanning ontbreek, wat die behoefte aan loopbaanberading getoon het sodat loopbaan aanpasbaarheid en veerkragtigheid ontwikkel kan word. Die sosiale vlak van ontleding het die mees prominente invloede getoon wat die belangrikheid van familie-ondersteuning aandui, alhoewel die gebrekkige betrokkenheid van ouers rakende loopbaanbeplanning geblyk het as gevolg van die die lae beroepstatus van die ouers. Die skoolkonteks het voorbeelde gebied van die vakke wat die respondente bemeester het asook loopbaan-inligting soos verskaf deur die onderwysers; hierteenoor is die vriende beskryf as tweevoudige entiteite wat aan die eenkant ondersteuning bied, maar aan die anderkant ook die negatiewe invloede. „n Gebrek aan sigbare plaaslike rolmodelle en suksesvolle loopbaanrigtings het gelei tot loopbaankeuses wat gebaseer word op die voorstellings van beroepe soos in die media, asook media-rolmodelle in die afwesigheid van aanvullende en toeganklike loopbaan-inligting. The tema van loopbaan-mites het die behoefte aan akkurate loopbaan-inligting ge-illustreer; en die tema rakende kulturele-identiteit het na vore gekom. Afri-sentriese narratiewe van die oorkoming van swaarkry wat gelei het tot veerkragtige hanteringsmeganismes, is gekoppel aan „n swart rasse-identiteit, alhoewel dit ook die bewegings weg van die uitgebreide familie-strukture en die dorpsgebied belemmer. Die versoening van “westerse” loopbaan-verwagtings met die landelike verbondenheit om „n koherente selfkonsep te vorm, kan die grootste uitdaging wees in die ontwikkeling van „n loopbaan-identiteit vir benadeelde adolessente. Op die omgewings-samelewingsvlak van ontleding is die volgende bespreek: Kayamandi as „n bemagtigende én „n nadelige omgewing; die hulpbronne; en probleme aangaande taalkwessies wat deel is van die Stellenbosse gemeenskap. Ten slotte, die MSCI terugvoering het die behoefte aan refleksie-prosesse aangedui en kritiekpunte is ook bespreek. Temas wat geïdentifiseer is in die leerders se loopbaan-stories kan bydra tot die verkryging van insig vir toekomstige loopbaan-ontwikkeling, beradingsprosesse, en vir die ontwikkeling van konteks-spesifieke intervensies.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85790
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