Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Professional identity : the case of careers guidance practitioners in England
Author: Gough, John P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 5663
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The aim of the thesis is to identify and explore the extent and characteristics of a shared professional identity of careers guidance practitioners in England. It addresses the perceived limitations of the existing literature concerning the careers guidance profession and its practitioners. This literature often portrays the sector as weakened and fragmented, and lacking in political and structural leverage, particularly in the wake of the introduction of the Connexions Service in 2001, and the aftermath of the Education Act (2011). Its practitioners are also represented as de-professionalised or de-motivated (e.g., Colley et al, 2010), with reduced connections to professional communities and associations, and with their sense of professionalism limited by the organisations in which they work. Further, the literature often reflects wider debates concerning the effects of neo-liberal managerialism on professionals in public service provision (e.g., Evetts, 2005). The latter overlooks individuals’ sense of agency in shaping their everyday work practices. In addressing this problematic, the research project explores a number of key areas and questions. These include: the existence of a shared professional identity; its features; the conditions and processes by which the identity is shaped and created; the ways in which practitioners connect with communities of practice (Wenger, 1998); and their engagement with, and influence on, the organisations in which they operate when expressing their agency. The adopted qualitative methodology is consistent with the nature of the enquiry into this lived experience; and uses grounded theory method, particularly the Strauss and Corbin (1990) approach, to interrogate the rich narratives offered by the research participants who were drawn from a variety of provider contexts. The key finding of the research is that, despite the on-gong challenges faced by the profession in England, not least the lack of a workforce development strategy, the participants’ accounts do attest to a common professional identity. The enquiry also identifies the conditions and processes by which such an identity is created, and reveals empowered and knowledgeable social actors (Giddens, 1984) who are not yoked to managerialism. The thesis’ contribution is to advance the debate concerning the professional identity of careers guidance practitioners, and provides fresh insights into the ways of which identity and agency are created and expressed. It also identifies further areas for research, and suggests that Stones’ strong structuration (2005) may offer a useful tool to promote specific and ontic-level enquiry into professionalism and professional identity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor