This seminar introduces progress and findings from a PhD research project that is still underway. Drawing on a range of data sources including contextual survey information and interviews, the study has sought to understand how recent graduates from one, northern English university narrate their own experiences of uncertainty in job markets and early careers. The target research population was those for whom the transition from university has been challenging. Graduates included in the research were from Arts, Creative Arts and Humanities as well as from Business and Law subjects. The study aims to build a more nuanced and authentic narrative of graduate transition.

For analytical purposes, the research draws upon a theoretical tradition which has been developed by Holland, Lachicotte, Cain and Skinner in the book Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds (1998). Holland et al synthesise elements of Bourdieu, Vygotsky and Bakhtin in their theoretical formulation of identity in practice. This theory has not been used in career studies of this kind before although it has been used across the social sciences for nearly two decades. The theory aims to capture the paradox of human life in which people can be subject to social scripts but also have the ability for improvisation.

Fiona Christie is currently undertaking doctoral studies in Educational Research at Lancaster University and is a practising careers consultant at Salford University. 

All are welcome to attend.  Please contact Dee Daglish for further information.

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