Gender and Social Class: Powerful Predictors of a Life Journey

Authored by: Mary J. Heppner , Ae-Kyung Jung

Handbook of Vocational Psychology

Print publication date:  May  2013
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415808170
eBook ISBN: 9780203143209
Adobe ISBN: 9781136500008


 Download Chapter



A baby born today is likely to experience a life journey that is dynamic, non-linear, shaped as much by happenstance as rationality, involving skills and occupations that may have yet to be invented; in essence, a multi-determined experience that challenges our predictive capabilities as vocational psychologists. Even so, two particular demographic variables that the child has absolutely no control over on this the first day of her or his life may well be two of the most robust predictors of that journey: whether they are born a girl or boy and whether they are born of wealth, poverty or somewhere on the vast continuum in between. Although much of our research and theory in career development and vocational behavior has focused on interests, values, abilities, choice, self-efficacy, the structure of occupational opportunity, person and environment fit, adjustment, and work satisfaction, we will argue that all of these highly important variables are powerfully influenced by gender and social class and that it is essential for vocational researchers and practitioners to integrate these critical aspects of social identity into their research and applied interventions. Thus, it is the purpose of this chapter to examine what we know about both gender and class as they relate to the pursuit of work or one’s career development (as you see, even our terminology is shaped by class differences).

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.