Some Cornerstones in the Development of a Contextual Action Theory of Career and Counselling

Abstract

In this article we review severalissues that contribute to the contextual actiontheory of career and counselling. This theoryis based on the notion that career isconstructed through the intentionalgoal-directed actions of persons and thatcounselling is a process that involves bothaction and career. The development of thistheory has relied on several criticaldiscussions, including vocation asrelationship, hermeneutics and phenomenology,methodological diversity, interpretation andnarrative, action theory, emotional processes,joint career development projects, thequalitative action-project method, includingthe self-confrontation interview,contextualizing career counselling, socialconstructionism and family projects. Whenconsidered together, these issues contribute toa substantial and integrated view of career andcounselling.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Boesch, E. E. (1991). Symbolic action theory and cultural psychology. New York: Springer-Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bujold, C. (1990). Biographical-hermeneutical approaches to the study of career development. In R. A. Young & W. A. Borgen (Eds.), Methodological approaches to the study of career (pp. 57–69). New York: Praeger Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Campos, J. J., Campose, R. G., & Barrett, K. C. (1989). Emergent themes in the study of emotional development and emotional regulation. Developmental Psychology, 25, 394–402.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Cochran, L. R. (1990). Narrative as paradigm for career research. In R. A. Young & W. A. Borgen (Eds.), Methodological approaches to the study of career (pp. 71–86). New York: Praeger Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Collin, A. (1990). Mid-life career change research. In R. A. Young & W. A. Borgen (Eds.), Methodological approaches to the study of career (pp. 197–220). New York: Praeger Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Collin, A., & Young, R. A. (1986). New directions for theories of career. Human Relations, 39, 837–853.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Collin, A., & Young, R.A. (1988). Career development and hermeneutical inquiry: Part II-Undertaking hermeneutical research. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 22, 191–201.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Collin, A., & Young, R. A. (1992). Constructing career through narrative and context: An interpretive perspective. In R. A. Young & A. Collin (Eds.), Interpreting career: Hermeneutical studies of lives in context (pp. 1–12). Westport, CT: Praeger.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Collins, W. A., & Russell, G. (1991). Mother-child and Father-child relationships in middle childhood and adolescence: A developmental analysis. Developmental Review, 11, 99–136.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Dewey, J. (1969). The logic of verification. In John Dewey: The early works (Vol. 3, pp. 83–92). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. (Original work published 1890)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Dix, T. (1991). The affective organization of parenting: Adaptive and maladaptive processes. Psychological Bulletin, 110, 3–25.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Egan, G. (1998). The skilled helper: A problem-management approach to helping (6th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Feltham, C., & Dryden, W. (1993). Dictionary of counselling. London: Whurr.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Fisher, D. (1990). Field research and career education. In R. A. Young & W. A. Borgen (Eds.), Methodological approaches to the study of career (pp. 127–144). New York: Praeger Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Frijda, N. H. (1986). The emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Gaskell, J. (1990). The politics of methodological decisions. In R. A. Young & W. A. Borgen (Eds.), Methodological approaches to the study of career (pp. 221–235). New York: Praeger Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Greenberg, L. S. (1993). Emotion and change processes in psychotherapy. In M. Lewis and J. M. Haviland (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (pp. 499–508). New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Isaacson, L. E., & Brown, D. (2000). Career information, career counseling and career development. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Kalbermatten, U., & Valach, L. (1985). Methods of an integrative approach for the study of social interaction. Communication and Cognition, 18(3), 281–315.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Kieselbach, T. (1990). Help-seeking and coping with unemployment. In R. A. Young & W. A. Borgen (Eds.), Methodological approaches to the study of career (pp. 163–184). New York: Praeger Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Larson, R. W., & Richards, M. H. (1994). Family emotions: Do young adolescents and their parents experience the same states? Journal of Research on Adolescence, 4, 567–583.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Macoby, E. E. (1992). The role of parents in the socialization of children: An historical overview. Developmental Psychology, 28, 1006–1017.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Mahoney, M. (1991). Human change processes. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, self and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Moscovici, S. (1981). On social representations. In J. P. Forgas (Ed.), Social cognition (pp. 181–209). London: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Niles, S. G., & Hartung, P. A. (2000). Emerging career theories. In D. A. Luzzo (Ed.), Career counseling of college students: An empirical guide to strategies that work (pp. 23–42). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Parker, I. (1992). Discourse dynamics: Critical analysis for social and individual psychology. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Patton, W., & McMahon, M. (1999). Career development and systems theory: A new relationship. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Polkinghorne, D. E. (1990). Action theory approaches to career research. In R. A. Young & W. A. Borgen (Eds.), Methodological approaches to the study of career (pp. 87–105). New York: Praeger.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Shotter, J. (1993). Conversational realities: Constructing life through language. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Thompson, R. A. (1993). Socioemotional development: Enduring issues and new challenges. Developmental Review, 13, 372–402.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Valach, L. (1990). A theory of goal-directed action in career analysis. In R. A. Young & W. A. Borgen (Eds.), Methodological approaches to the study of career (pp. 107–126). New York: Praeger.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Valach, L., Michel, K., Dey, P., & Young, R. A. (2002). Self-confrontation interview with suicide attempters. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 15(1), 1–22.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Valach, L., Young, R. A., & Lynam, M. J. (1996). The family's health promotion project. Journal of Health Psychology, 1(1), 49–63.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Valach, L., Young, R. A., & Lynam, M. J. (2002). Action theory: A primer for research in the social sciences. Westport, CT: Praeger.

    Google Scholar 

  36. von Cranach, M., & Harré R. (Eds.) (1982). The analysis of action: Recent theoretical and empirical advances. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  37. von Cranach, M., Kalbermatten, U., Indermuehler, K., & Gugler, B. (1982). Goal directed action. London: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Vondracek, F. (1990). A developmental-contextual approach to career development research. In R. A. Young & W. A. Borgen (Eds.), Methodological approaches to the study of career (pp. 37–56). New York: Praeger Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Young, R. A. (1983). Career development of adolescents: An ecological perspective. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 12, 401–418.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Young, R. A. (1984). Vocation as relationship. Counseling and Values, 28, 169–178.

    Google Scholar 

  42. Young, R. A. (1990). Introduction. In R. A. Young & W. A. Borgen (Eds.), Methodological approaches to the study of career (pp. xi–xviii). New York: Praeger Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Young, R. A., Antal, S., Bassett, M. E., Seigo, N., Post, A., & Valach, L. (1999). The joint actions of adolescents in peer conversations about career. Journal of Adolescence, 22, 527–538.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Young, R. A., Ball, J., Valach, L., Turkel, H., & Wong, Y. S. (2003). The family career development project in Chinese Canadian families. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 62, 287–304.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Young, R. A., & Borgen, W. A. (Eds.) (1990). Methodological approaches to the study of career. New York: Praeger Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Young, R. A., & Collin, A. (1988). Career development and hermeneutical inquiry: Part I. The framework of a hermeneutical approach. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 22, 153–161.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Young, R. A., & Collin, A. (Eds.) (1992). Interpreting career: Hermeneutical studies of lives in context. Westport, CT: Praeger.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Young, R. A., & Collin, A. (Eds.) (in press). Constructivism, social constructionism, and career theory. Special Issue of the Journal of Vocational Behavior.

  49. Young, R. A., Lynam, M. A., Valach, L., Novak, H., Brierton, I., & Christopher, A. (2000). Parent-adolescent health conversations as action: Theoretical and methodological issues. Psychology and Health, 15, 853–868.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Young, R. A., Lynam, M. J., Valach, L., Novak, H., Brierton, I., & Christopher, A. (2001). Joint actions of parents and adolescents in health conversation. Qualitative Health Research, 11, 40–57.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Young, R. A., Paseluikho, M. A., & Valach, L. (1997). Emotion in the construction of career in conversations between parents and adolescents. Journal of Counseling and Development, 76, 36–44.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Young, R. A., & Valach, L. (1996). Interpretation and action in career counseling. In M. L. Savickas & W. B. Walsh (Eds.), Handbook of career counseling theory and practice (pp. 361–376). Palo Alto: Davies-Black.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Young, R. A., & Valach, L. (2003). The construction of career through joint action in families. In R. A. Young & A. Collin (Co-chairs), Social constructionism and career theory, research, and practice, Symposium conducted at the 111th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada.

  54. Young, R. A., & Valach, L. (in press). The construction of career process through goal-directed action. In R. A. Young & A. Collin (Eds.), Constructivism, social constructionism and career theory [Special Issue]. Journal of Vocational Behavior.

  55. Young, R. A., Valach, L., Ball, J., Paseluikho, M. A., Wong, Y. S., DeVries, R. J., McLean, H., & Turkel, H. (2001). Career development as a family project. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 48, 190–202.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Young, R. A., Valach, L., & Collin, A. (1996). A contextual approach to career. In D. Brown, L. Brooks & Associates (Eds.), Career choice and development (3rd ed., pp. 477–512). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Young, R.A., Valach, L., & Collin, A. (2002). A contextual explanation of career. In D. Brown & Associates (Eds.), Career choice and development (4th ed., pp. 206–250). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    Google Scholar 

  58. Young, R. A., Valach, L., Dillabough, J., Dover, C., & Matthes, G. (1994). Career research from an action perspective: The self-confrontation procedure. Career Development Quarterly, 43, 185–196.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Young, R. A., Valach, L., Paseluikho, M. A., Dover, C., Matthes, G. E, Paproski, D. L., & Sankey, A. M. (1997). The joint action of parents and adolescents in conversation about career. Career Development Quarterly, 46, 72–86.

    Google Scholar 

  60. Zunker, V. G. (1998). Career counseling: Applied concepts of life planning (5th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Valach, L., Young, R.A. Some Cornerstones in the Development of a Contextual Action Theory of Career and Counselling. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance 4, 61–81 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:IJVO.0000021138.12299.cf

Download citation

Keywords

  • Development Project
  • Action Theory
  • Career Development
  • Emotional Process
  • Integrate View