Actantial construction of career guidance in the parliament of Finland

I’ve just published a new paper with Janne Varjo and Mira Kalalahti looking at career guidance policy in Finland.

In the paper we examine how career guidance has been discussed in the Parliament of Finland over the last 50 years. We look at the debates that took place in three difference governments in different era and explore what these debates tell us about the way in which career guidance is seen and understood.

Our argument is that the parliamentary discussions concerning guidance provided in comprehensive education reflect the rationalities that underpin guidance in different eras in Finland and elsewhere. Examining these rationalities provides a way to explore the principles which frame career guidance policy in Finland. Using the actantial model as a methodological tool, the analysis aims to discover the actantial positions in the parliamentary discussions and the interactions that emerge between these.

The various actantial narratives demonstrate the way in which guidance is influenced by wider ideological trends. The actantial analysis portrays a shift from the more structural corporatist approaches of the 1960s when the object of guidance was to fulfil the needs of society, towards more third way individualism in 1990s. The current reform of 2020 to extend compulsory education and reinforce guidance may represent some return to more structural approaches.

If you are interested you can read more at

Varjo, J., Kalalahti, M. & Hooley, T. (2021) Actantial construction of career guidance in parliament of Finland’s education policy debates 1967–2020Journal of Education Policyhttps://doi.org/10.1080/02680939.2021.1971772

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