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    A Bourdieusian approach to understanding employability: becoming a 'fish in water'

    Clark, M. and Zukas, Miriam (2013) A Bourdieusian approach to understanding employability: becoming a 'fish in water'. Journal of Vocational Education and Training 65 (2), pp. 208-219. ISSN 1363-6820.

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    It is assumed in the current policy environment that higher education should lead to graduate employability, although understandings of employability are generally limited. In this paper we discuss issues relating to graduate employability with reference to a case study of an information technology (IT) student progressing to a graduate role in the IT industry. Our analysis uses Bourdieu’s ‘thinking tools’, habitus, field and capital, to discuss the importance to graduate employability of individual positions and dispositions, workplace culture and organisation, and the social contacts developed as part of undergraduate life. We argue that employability needs to be understood in relational terms. In particular, the value of skills and knowledge depends on the work and workplace to which a graduate progresses. Similarly, employable graduates need a ‘feel for the game’.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: 18 month embargo on full-text from date of publication
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): learning in life and work transitions, higher education, learning in the professions, workplace learning, vocational education and training
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > SSHP Administration
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Knowledge Lab
    Depositing User: Miriam Zukas
    Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2012 10:25
    Last Modified: 28 Jun 2021 19:13


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