Combatting Marginalization and Fostering Critical Consciousness for Decent Work

  • Maureen E. KennyEmail author
  • David L. Blustein
  • Ellen Gutowski
  • Tera Meerkins
Part of the Lifelong Learning Book Series book series (LLLB, volume 23)


As a result of global economic and technological changes, populations across the globe are losing access to decent work that is critical for meeting essential economic, social, and psychological needs. This chapter is designed to address the challenges for marginalized groups in accessing decent work during a time of growing work scarcity. In so doing, we seek to respond to the call of Guichard (Career guidance, education and dialogues for a fair and sustainable human development. In: Guichard J, Drabik-Prodogorna V, Podogorny M (eds) Counselling and dialogue for sustainable human development. Adam Marszalek, Torun, pp 17–43, 2016) for the development of career guidance, education and life design that promotes fairness. In alignment with the Psychology of Working Theory (PWT: Duffy RD, Blustein DL, Diemer MA, Autin KL, J Counsel Psychol 63:127–148, 2016), we suggest that critical consciousness (CC: Freire P, Education for critical consciousness. Continuum, New York, 1973) can serve to combat marginalization by equipping oppressed groups with adaptive and liberating narratives as well as reducing discriminatory beliefs and practices among those with greater privilege and power. While critical consciousness has its roots in efforts to liberate oppressed peoples in undeveloped nations in the southern hemisphere, much of the recent work on the specific application of critical consciousness for vocational development has been advanced in developed contexts. We propose a practice and research agenda that integrates critical consciousness in life design and career education practice with attention to contextual variation across diverse regions of the globe.


Marginalization Critical consciousness Narratives Psychology of working 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maureen E. Kenny
    • 1
    Email author
  • David L. Blustein
    • 1
  • Ellen Gutowski
    • 1
  • Tera Meerkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Lynch School of EducationBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA

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