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ERIC Number: EJ1093418
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0912
How "Space" and "Place" Contribute to Occupational Aspirations as a Value-Constituting Practice for Working-Class Males
Stahl, Garth; Baars, Sam
Education & Training, v58 n3 p313-327 2016
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to consider how working-class boys constitute themselves as subjects of "value" through a close examination of their occupational aspirations. The authors consider two significant influences on the aspirations of these young men: "space" and "place"; and neoliberal discourses which privilege a particular concept of individualized personhood. Contending with neoliberal conceptions of personhood and aspiration (that are primarily competitive, economic, and status based), working-class and working-poor young men either align themselves with the "entrepreneurial" or "aspirational" self or face the label of "low aspirations". Design/methodology/approach: Employing space and place as conceptual lenses allows for a nuanced understanding of how aspirations are formed (and reformed) according to immediate locale. To explore the identity negotiations surrounding the occupational aspirations of working-class males, the authors draw on two qualitative research studies in deprived neighbourhoods located in South Manchester and South London. Findings: Based on the evidence as well as the wider research concerning working-class males and occupational aspirations, the authors argue that aspirations are formed in a contested space between traditional, localized, classed identities and a broader neoliberal conception of the "aspirational" rootless self. Research limitations/implications: This study focuses on aspiration formation in two specific neighbourhoods, and caution should be taken when generalizing the findings beyond these area contexts. Originality/value: This study problematizes the literature generated by government bodies and educational institutions regarding working-class youth as having a "poverty of aspirations". Additionally, value lies in the cross-reference of two specific geographic areas using the conceptual lens of space and place.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (London); United Kingdom (Manchester)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A