Assignment: Contextualist and Chaos
Assignment: Contextualist and Chaos
Assignment: Contextualist and Chaos Theories and Their Applications
Contextualist and Chaos Theories and Their Applications: Young and Associates, Savickas and Bloch
Identify and describe the philosophical basis (postmodernism) of the theories in this chapter.
Articulate each theory presented in this chapter and describe its applications.
Basic Tenets of postmodern thinking:
Post modern thinking, often referred to as constructivist theories, are a relatively new addition to the theories of career choice
These theories depart radically from the assumptions of the theories based on positivist philosophy
Assumptions that underpin these theories:
Human behavior is nonlinear and thus cannot be studied objectively
Cause and effect relationships cannot be determined
Individuals cannot be studied outside of the context in which they function
Research data cannot be generalized to other people or groups
Research is not a value-free process
The stories (or narratives) that students tell are legitimate sources of data
Research is goal-free
Career counselors focus on the stories, use qualitative assessment procedures and help clients construct career goals
The self develops in continuous interaction between the individual and her or his contexts
Some postmodern theorists accept the idea of the objective self; others reject the idea
Young, Vallach and Collin (2002) A contextualist theory of career
Contextualism for these theorists is the process of weaving parts of one’s context (environment, reference groups, etc.) into the structure of self.
Career-related behaviors are goal-directed results of the individual’s construction of the context in which he or she functions.
Goal oriented series of behaviors
Young et al break action into 3 parts:
The internal processes that cannot be observed
The meaning or results as interpreted by the individuals and others who observe the action
Joint actions, such as those in career counseling, occur between people
Actions take place in a series of sequential steps that occur in a social contact from which the actor cannot separated.
Young and colleagues indicated that an essential aspect of career counseling is interpretation, which involves making sense of the client’s experiences.
Savickas’ Career Construction Theory (1995, 2002, 2013)
Incorporates portions of Holland’s and Super’s theories giving them a constructivist interpretation.
Acknowledges the influence of Alfred Adler
Believes that the construction of self occurs primarily through a reflective process
Savickas’ 5 step approach to career counseling
Chaos Theory of Career Development and Spirituality
Although chaos theory is a field of mathematics, psychologists and counselors may rely upon this theory to suggest approaches to dealing with families, work groups and organizations.
Assumptions of Chaos Theory
Small effects can cause large reactions
Complex open systems are unpredictable, primarily because we cannot know the initial conditions from which these systems evolved
Open systems are characterized by turbulence which adds to their unpredictable nature
Feedback about the system to the participants in a open system makes it more unpredictable.
Fractals are complex patterns that repeat themselves recursively—that is, the new pattern grows out of the old.
Bloch’s (2005) ideas to illustrate chaos theory –elaborated by listing the characteristics of adaptive entities (clients)
Have the ability to maintain themselves even though their shapes (life spaces) may change
Are open systems taking energy from the environment
Are parts of networks
Are parts of other entities
Are dynamic and ever-changing
Go through transitions
Behave in non-linear ways
React so that small changes may bring about large effects
Move through transitions
Chaos Theory and Career Counseling
Bloch and Richmond (2007) identify 7 themes that clients may manifest during the counseling process.
They are change, balance, energy, community, calling, harmony and unity
Brief Solution-Focused Career Counseling (BSFCC)
Relationship development – counselors may describe themselves as coaches or facilitators
Client presentation of issue
Search for exceptions
Client identifies personal strengths and past successes
In follow-up sessions, revisit the goal and develop a plan to move toward resolution
Ask second order questions