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    Older adults in further education: re-defining careers in a recession, a narrative inquiry.

    Dowling, Linda (2012) Older adults in further education: re-defining careers in a recession, a narrative inquiry. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    The focus of this research is an exploration of the impact of the current recession on the older adults’ decision to re-define their career path through further education (FE). I perceived a need for this research as I am concerned that the guidance needs of older professionally qualified, unemployed adults may be overlooked. I began with the assumption that ‘second recession’ adults in FE are pursuing a new career identity because of unemployment caused by the current economic recession. The methodological framework of the investigation involved narrative inquiry based around interviews of four older adults who were participating in FE. A basic grounded theory approach and thematic analysis of the data led to the emergence of key themes for discussion which were, life stage; power; opportunity and emigration; meaning making and resolution; and the relevance of the recession in the lives of the respondents. Through the narratives, it was demonstrated that the recession in isolation has not impacted on the career decisions of the participants but it has facilitated an opportunity for them to engage in FE, rather than any conscious decision by them to re-train or up-skill because of unemployment. In addition to the general conclusion, I have advocated for the use of narrative inquiry in guidance as a lens to identify the vocational needs of the older adults, to assist their transition to a new career. This is an issue which is of relevance to all adult guidance counsellors and policy makers in an era when the emphasis of employment re-activation policy is on the national skills shortages.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: older adults; further education; careers; recession; adult learners; M.Ed. in Adult and Community Education; M.Ed.;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 9644
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 15:54
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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