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Towards a capability approach to careers: applying Amartya Sen’s thinking to career guidance and development

  • Peter J. RobertsonEmail author
Article

Abstract

Amartya Sen’s capability approach characterizes an individual’s well-being in terms of what they are able to be, and what they are able to do. This framework for thinking has many commonalities with the core ideas in career guidance. Sen’s approach is abstract and not in itself a complete or explanatory theory, but a case can be made that the capability approach has something to offer career theory when combined with a life-career developmental approach. It may also suggest ways of working that are consistent with educational (human capital) approaches to development in emerging economies.

Keywords

Career guidance Capability approach Economic development 

Résumé

Vers une approche des carrières par la capabilité : Application de la pensée d’Amartya Sen à la pratique du conseil et développement de carrier L’approche par les capabilités d’Amartya Sen caractérise le bien-être d’un individu en fonction de ce qu’il est capable d’êtrle et de ce qu’il est capable de faire. Ce cadre de pensée a plusieurs points communs avec les idées centrales du conseil en orientation. L’approche de Sen est abstraite et ne constitue pas une théorie complète ou explicative en soi, mais, de toute évidence l’approche par les capabilités a quelque chose à apporter à la théorie de la carrière lorsqu’elle est combinée avec une approche développementale de la vie et de la carrière. Elle peut également suggérer différentes manières de travailler cohérentes avec les approches éducatives (capital humain) en matière de développement dans les économies émergeantes.

Zusammenfassung

Auf dem Weg zu einem Laufbahn-Fähigkeitsansatz: Eine Anwendung von Amartya Sen’s Denkweise auf die Laufbahnberatung und –entwicklung Der Fähigkeitsansatz von Amartya Sen charakterisiert das individuelle Wohlbefinden in Bezug auf das, was Personen in der Lage sind zu „sein“und zu „tun“. Dieser Denkansatz besitzt viele Gemeinsamkeiten mit Kernideen der Laufbahnberatung. Sen’s Ansatz ist abstrakt und keine in sich selbst abgeschlossene oder erklärende Theorie, aber in Kombination mit einem lebenslangen Laufbahnentwicklungsansatz kann der Ansatz einen Beitrag zu Laufbahntheorien leisten. Der Ansatz könnte zudem Arbeitsweisen aufzeigen, welche mit Bildungs- bzw. Humankapitalansätzen in Schwellenländern einhergehen.

Resumen

Hacia un enfoque capacitador de la carrera profesional: aplicando el pensamiento de Amartya Sen a la orientación y al desarrollo professional El enfoque capacitador de Amartya Sen define el bienestar del individuo en términos de lo que es capaz de ser y de hacer. Este marco de pensamiento tiene muchos puntos en común con los dogmas centrales de la orientación profesional. El enfoque de Sen es abstracto y no constituye por sí solo ninguna teoría completa ni explicativa. Sin embargo, combinado con un enfoque desarrollista, sí tiene algo que aportar a la teoría de la carrera profesional. Igualmente puede sugerir técnicas de trabajo consistentes con enfoques educativos al desarrollo (capital humano) en las economías emergentes.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life, Sport and Social SciencesEdinburgh Napier UniversityEdinburghUK

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