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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The meaning of career change in relation to family roles Chusid, Hanna S.


An intensive case study design was utilized, integrating data from the application of Q-technique and subject interviews, to examine the meaning of career change from a family perspective. Ten subjects, identified through an informal network of referrals, were selected as diverse examples of career changers (6 men, 4 women). Subjects Q-sorted 46 items drawn from Holland's (1966) typology of personalities for 19 to 23 Salient Role Figures identified from three domains of dramatic enactment: Family, Self, and Vocation. Q-sort results for each subject were developed into a correlation matrix, then submitted to a principal components analysis. Results were analyzed to identify shifts or maintenance of themes and role enactments as indications of lived-out dramas. The empirical findings and suggested themes were presented to each subject to stimulate subject elaboration. Quantitative and qualitative data were synthesized to develop portraits pointing to the meaning of career change for each subject. Results support previous research that suggests individuals displace role enactments from family-of-origin onto the vocational arena. This study also provides support for the thesis that the phenomenon of role displacement from the family to vocational arenas occurs across differing vocational contexts. Additionally, while the meaning of career change as reflected in patterns of dramatic enactment appears idiosyncratic, the shifts in role displacement from family-of-origin to vocational arena appear to virtually define the subject's sense of the meaning of the career change itself. Thus, when viewed in the context of the individual's life as it is lived out, there appears to be regularity in the meaning of career change.

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