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Gottfredson's Theory of Circumscription and Compromise

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on 13 June 2014

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Transcript of Gottfredson's Theory of Circumscription and Compromise

Thank You!
What is Gottfredson's Theory?
(Swanson & Fouad, 2010)
To clarify and implement a vision of a satisfying career
To encourage realism in career choice without placing limits on options
Perceived Accessibility of an Occupation = Obstacles or opportunities in the social or economic environment that affect one’s chances of getting into a particular occupation.
Occupational Alternatives = Career preferences that have been altered by one’s sense of how realistic their choices are. They can be derived from a combination of self compatibility and accessibility.
Social Space- Zone of Acceptable Alternatives = Range of alternate career choices that an individual views as acceptable. It’s a reflection of where the individual sees him/herself as fitting into society.
Occupational Aspiration = The single occupation named as one’s best alternative at any given time.

Career choice begins by eliminating options that conflict with self-concept.
From an early age, people begin to rule out career options that they see as socially unacceptable for themselves.
This is often done without even knowing much about the jobs that are eliminated.
Gottfredson's Theory of Circumscription and Compromise

1- Written exercises to enhance personal reflection
2- Provide individualized interpretation and freedback
3- Provide practical information about world of work
4- Encourage opportunities to observe role models who are successful in their career
5- Attention to building social support for choices

Interventions Techniques:

Optimize Learning
= Encouragement to explore and gather information about self. It’s important for the counselor to reduce the complexity of this task to meet the client’s needs.

Optimize Experience
= Exposure to a wide variety of occupations and promote awareness of the active role the client can take in shaping their experience.

Optimize Self-Insight
= Encourage clients to take into account what they already know about themselves. Encouragement to think of making the choice of an occupation within the broader context of other factors (i.e., other life roles that come with career role)

Optimize Self-Investmen
t = Compromise may occur because of perceived inaccessibility or unrealism. The counselor should support and encourage new options as well as determine next steps and possible challenges one might encounter in pursuing the career of choice.

Intervention Goals:

Four Developmental Cognitive Processes

1. Cognitive Growth
2. Self Creation
3. Circumscription
4. Compromise

Stages of Development
(Gottfredson, 1981)
Children begin to understand the concept of being an adult. They view occupations as adult roles.
Orientation to Size and Power (ages 3-5)
Orientation to sex roles (ages 6-8)
Gender self-image emerges
Orientation to social valuation (ages 9-13)
An individual better understands social class and ability and how that determines social behavior and expectations.

A person becomes more attuned to internal feelings. Personal interests, values, and competencies become more clear in which an individual can begin to decide what field of work they would like.
Orientation to internal, unique self (around age 14)
Linda S. Gottfredson
“The theory of circumscription and compromise focuses on how young people gradually
come to recognize and deal with, or fail to deal with, the array of vocational choices their society provides.” (Gottfredson 2004, p. 2)

Key Concepts of the Theory of Circumscription and Compromise: (Gottfredson, 1981)
1-Cognitive Growth
cognitive map of occupations and the self-concept begin to develop
Consistencies in behaviors, beliefs, feelings, and self-insight help one gain a fuller view of self. Our self concept is formed based on what we would like to be and what we fear to be.
(Gottfredson, 2004)
4- Compromise
When one chooses a more accessible career option instead of a preferred career.
(Gottfredson, 2004)
(Swanson & Fouad, 2010)
(Swanson & Fouad, 2010)
(Swanson & Fouad, 2010)
Applications to Counseling
Gottfredson challenges us as counselors to find necessity in fairly weighing a client or student's abilities (Cochran, Wang, Stevenson, Johnson, & Crews, 2011).

Three confrontations with reality (Cochran et al., 2011):
1) Exploration of aspirations
2) Narrow list to a couple of options, begin assessing for ability
3) Make a plan B

Aspirations do not necessarily predict what career one will attain. A study of 1,394 white males found that participants were more likely to change their aspiration to match their career rather than change careers to match aspirations in order to reach aspiration-career congruence (Gottfredson, 1981).

Multicultural Considerations
Prescod & Daire, 2013:
Identity as a young, unwed mother with little to no resources negatively impacts one's self-concept.

Combined Gottfredson's theory of self-concept with the DSM-IV's Outline For Cultural Formation model:
1) self & culture: young black mother
2) self & culture concept of career paths
3) self in cultural context
4) cultural dynamics in the therapeutic relationship
5) overall assessment for career plannin with a culturally sensitive emphasis

Ivers, Milsome, & Newsome, 2012:

Application of "premature circumscription" and "early compromise (Ivers et al. 2012, p. 233) in counseling Latino youth facing language barriers and racial discrimination in schools.

Counselors should:
1) Assess for circumscription
2) Provide one-on-one assistance in formulating life goals
3) Offer information for goal attainment

Strengths & Weaknesses
: Places emphasis on the role that gender, racial/ethnic identity, SES play in formulating career aspirations, unlike Super's theory (Swanson & Fouad, 2010) (Cochran et al., 2011).

: The developmental stages end after adolescence, unlike Super's theory (Swanson & Fouad, 2010).

: There is empirical evidence that understanding career aspirations and ability in one's youth is a predictor of future success (Cochran et al., 2011).

WEAKNESS: The theory is difficult to research, due to the "difficulty in assessing perceptions in early childhood" (Swanson & Fouad 2010, p. 173)

YOU DECIDE: Is focusing on reality to this extent a strength or a weakness?
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