Career Guidance and the Production of Subjectivity

In: Career and Career Guidance in the Nordic Countries


Using Foucault’s analytical tools this chapter explores the development of career guidance historically and contextually and examines how it is imbued with different ideologies, discourses and forms of power to produce subjectivity. The chapter identifies the emergence of five discourses and related productions of subjectivity and places these in the context of the development of guidance in Norway. These are described as the philanthropic, industrial, welfare state, neoliberal and knowledge society discourses. Finally, Nordic counter discourses are explored. The chapter argues that career guidance in Norway has a political function, that it produces forms of subjectivity and acts as a governing technology.