theme3
Theme 3 - The Changing and the Unchanged: Personhood in context


Eastern philosophers describe the cosmos as a paradox of change and constancy. The individual is growing and changing, while the world of work is also changing with new opportunities constantly emerging.

A career develops in finding a balance between what changes and what does not change. Personal interests, for example, are liable to change, while aptitudes are deeper traits and therefore are more stable.

Work has evolved over the ages. It has been moulded by ideologies, shaped by the tenets of a variety of philosophies and transformed by revolutions. In some contexts, work has yielded the concept of 'career', where the individual and his or her productivity is brought centre-stage. Freedom of choice is deeply valued and the individual's desires, interests and aptitudes are emphasised. In other parts of the world, work behaviour is strongly influenced by deep-rooted cultural forces which require that the role of the individual is integrated with the collective. In contexts where independent decision-making is not directly nurtured, self-assertion could be perceived as selfish and divergence from family and parental directions could be taken as disobedience. Ties with the community play a powerful role in the individual's orientation to work in such environments.

Further, the term 'career' is largely an alien one in the developing-world context. Issues that surround 'livelihoods' and 'traditional occupations' against the background of modernisation and globalisation need to be examined.

This theme invites you to consider the dynamics that surround the person and career decision-making in an ever changing yet tradition-bound world.


Topics for presentations

  • Psycho-social and socio-cultural influences on career development

  • Influence of significant others, such as teachers, parents and peers
  • Personal identity and career development
  • Gender and career development

  • Personality factors and their interface with career development

  • Interest and aptitude: is it one or the other for effective career planning?

  • Histories of work and career

  • The evolution of work
  • Contexts and meanings of work, occupation and career
  • Individualistic vs. collectivistic orientations to work

  • Mainstreaming careers services

  • Integrating careers services with existing structures and services
  • Strategies to create / influence policy to mainstream careers services

Please click here for more information on submitting an abstract for a paper, a workshop, a symposium or a poster on any of these topics.You could also join a Special Session.