Relational transitions, emotional decisions : new directions for theorising graduate employment

Finn, Kirsty (2017) Relational transitions, emotional decisions : new directions for theorising graduate employment. Journal of Education and Work, 30 (4). pp. 419-431. ISSN 1363-9080

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University-to-work transitions tend to be discussed in terms of skills, outcomes and the readiness of graduates for an increasingly insecure and flexible labour market. Such a focus on individual attributes and orientations depicts graduates as lonely and ostensibly rational figures; disembedded from their intimate networks and devoid of emotional context as they navigate their post-university pathways. This article aims to steer the debate in a new, fundamentally relational direction by exploring the role and significance of intimate kin and non-kin relationships for the ways graduates experience and make choices about employment and careers. Drawing on qualitative longitudinal research with women who graduated from universities in the UK between 2009 and 2011, the discussion highlights the value of an explicitly relational perspective for revealing the personal and emotional dimensions of the transition out of higher education. The article concludes that the process of securing work and committing to a career is embedded within the broader experiences of personal life, emotion and (im)mobility and, thus, raises important questions about the role and responsibility of universities at a time when employability metrics are read as a marker of teaching quality.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Education and Work
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Education and Work on 26/10/2016, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? emotiongraduate employmentpersonal relationshipsreflexivityrelationalityeducationpublic administrationorganizational behavior and human resource management ??
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Deposited On:
28 Oct 2016 09:28
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:44