The educational and occupational aspirations of young people in Scotland and Finland

Furlong, A. , Kasurinen, H., Biggart, A. and Sinisalo, P. (1998) The educational and occupational aspirations of young people in Scotland and Finland. Young: The Nordic Journal of Youth Research, 6(4), pp. 2-21. (doi:10.1177/110330889800600401)

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In this paper we examine subjective aspects of social reproduction in two countries: Finland and Scotland. Our aims are twofold. The first is to examine the extent to which individual actors are able to meaningfully negotiate opportunity structures through contrasting the future orientations of young people in two different societies. The central question here relates to the extent to which individual subjectivities are conditioned by social locations rather than being shaped through a process of exploration and negotiation. Second, as the two countries have different systems of education, vocational training and careers counselling, we wanted to determine the extent to which institutional arrangements shape subjective orientations. In America, the widely tested Wisconsin model of status attainment (which is used to measure social mobility and includes indicators of socio-economic background and educational attainment as well as aspirations) has highlighted the significance of the relationship between subjective processes and labour market outcomes (Sewell and Hauser, 1993), but we have little knowledge of the ways in which subjective orientations are affected by institutional arrangements and models of careers counselling. Sinisalo (1993), however, has argued that across different cultures there are strong similarities in vocational interests. If institutional structures and models of careers counselling are significant, then given the differences in the educational systems of Finland and Scotland, we would expect to find strong variations in the aspirations of young people. If, on the other hand, the aspirations of young people in the two countries are very similar, this would suggest that these arrangements are of little significance.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Furlong, Professor Andy
Authors: Furlong, A., Kasurinen, H., Biggart, A., and Sinisalo, P.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
Journal Name:Young: The Nordic Journal of Youth Research
Publisher:Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1741-3222

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