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Governance of Lifelong Guidance in Europe: A Governmentality Analysis
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis does two things. First, it explores activities, technologies and rationalities in government of lifelong guidance in Europe at a European level. Second, it examines how lifelong guidance is constructed to become adaptable to a European knowledge economy and to be a tool for implementing lifelong learning. Using the Foucauldian concepts of governmentality and discourse, this study uncovers the means by which European lifelong guidance is governed and shows how lifelong guidance is given meaning in the discourses of knowledge economy and lifelong learning, which are strong discourses in the EU Lisbon strategy, launched in 2000. In the first decade of the 21st century political calls for re-shaping lifelong guidance led to governance of lifelong guidance at a European level. This is made possible by soft governance, i.e. governance through freedom and subtle regulation. Understanding involvement and performance as particular technologies of power, this study identifies these technologies of soft governance in the programme to re-shape lifelong guidance in Europe, and shows the web of arrangement of technical and discursive practices, regarded as governing practices in this process. Further, it demonstrates that European lifelong guidance is constructed as a service that is valued from the perspectives of efficiency and flexibility in societal demands on individuals‘ responsibility to self-manage their careers. In this sense, lifelong guidance can be seen as a kind of governmentality in redefined responsibilities of the individual and the state.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 52 p.
Keyword [en]
career guidance, governmentality, knowledge economy, soft governance, technologies of power, responsibility, lifelong learning
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-59274OAI: diva2:426226
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-08-22 Created: 2011-06-22 Last updated: 2011-08-22Bibliographically approved

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