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Enterprising career education: the power of self-management

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This article provides an account of how people’s career management is given prominence in contemporary European policy documents pertaining to career education for entrepreneurship in higher education and in vocational education and training. This study concerns the ways in which policy discourses of career management and governmental practices invoke individuals to understand themselves as entrepreneurial. Proceeding from post-Foucauldian theorizing of the concept of governmentality, the analysis draws attention to technologies and procedures designed to foster career self-management. Focus is also directed to the practices of self-knowledge, self-actualization and self-control as part of the formation of the subjectivity. It is argued that the governance of self-management operates in two interrelated ways: as a practice of inducing individuals to shape an entrepreneurial relation towards their needs and desires, and as a power to enterprise career education. In relation to this, the analysis elucidates how the discourse of competence acts upon individuals to capitalize themselves and engage in a permanent self-assessment of their needs.
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Keywords: Europe; career education; competence; entrepreneurship; governmentality; self-management; subjectivity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Stockholm University, Sweden

Publication date: 2014-05-04

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