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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The career decision making experience of five working class men Lockington, Anne F.


Five working class men described the experience of decision-making related to their participation in paid employment. Each man was interviewed in depth. The interviews were audio taped and transcribed, from this data an account of the subject’s experiences were generated. Each account was validated by the subject as accurate and complete. The five accounts were then compared to theories of decision making to determine how theory would explain the men's experience. The three theories were; The Conflict Model by Janis and Mann, The Rational Model by Horan and The Deciding in Context Model by Sloan. The divergence between theory and experience, rather than the agreement was more informative. The comparison of the two rational models highlighted the importance of treating the decision moment as consequential: of focusing one's attention with deliberation and awareness. When the decision situation is not clearly defined and where meaning and significance must be drawn from the context of a life history these models are limited. Sloan's deciding in context model provided a more complex and complete understanding of the five decisions. Further study is needed to understand the decision making behavior of working class men as they participate in paid employment. The findings suggest that the context in which the decision is made is a significant factor. For the counsellor and working class client understanding the importance of the context of class may be one of the most critical factors in career decision making.

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