Parent-child career construction: A narrative study from a gender perspective

Maria Chiara Pizzorno, Angelo Benozzo, Alice Fina, Simonetta Sabato, Matteo Scopesi

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Nine families composed of mother and father, one son and one daughter were involved in this study to examine the role played by parents on children's career development from a gender perspective. In particular, this paper addresses the questions of how the parent-child dyad constructs stories about the child's career and the role played in it by the parent, and how same-sex dyads versus opposite-sex shape these stories. The narrative method was used as it lends itself to capturing family members storytelling about children's career. A narrative interview was administered to thirty-six participants with the data being analyzed using the adaptation of a tried-and-tested narrative analysis procedure. The findings show the importance of same-sex dyads in constructing career stories, plotted around themes of father-son educational and occupational transmission and mother-daughter alliance in facilitating girls' self-making. The study shows how storytelling helps family members to accommodate disruptions experienced during career transitions and to motivate choices that make vocational identity more stable. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-430
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number3
Early online date13 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Career stories
  • Gender
  • Parent-child career construction

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