n South African Journal of Higher Education - Career counselling an African immigrant student in a USA school setting : merging transition theory with a narrative approach

Volume 23, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



A global professional discourse has emerged among career specialists inviting a critical examination of conventional career theory and calling for innovative, postmodern approaches that capture the complex, unique and evolving needs of diverse and disadvantaged students. Using a narrative case study the authors evaluate and describe the application of Schlossberg's Transitional Theory to the career development of an African immigrant, high school student in the United States. Transitional Theory posits that throughout their lives, people experience transition requiring an alteration in patterns of behavior and thinking and necessitating new coping strategies (Schlossberg and Leibowitz 1980, 205). The transitional, narrative data were gathered over time using interviews, head notes, observations, and assessment reports (Creswell 2007, 73). Contextual influences and themes that shaped the student's 'storied life' are described in light of Schlossberg's theory constructs of situation, self, support and strategies for meaning-making and career growth.

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