Intentional and identity processes: A social constructionist investigation using student journals

Mary Sue Richardson, Patrick Meade, Nicole Rosbruch, Constanca Vescio, Laura Price, Alexandra Cordero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In contrast to traditional theories of career development that focus on decision-making processes in relation to market work, [Richardson, M. S. (2004). The emergence of new intentions in subjective experience: A social/personal constructionist and relational understanding. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 64, 485-498], informed by social constructionism and considering both work and relationships, suggests that the process of emerging intentional states or intentional process is central to the broader task of constructing a life. This study was designed to investigate this process. The research situation consisted of three structured group discussions with students in a graduate class. Journals written after the group discussions constituted the data for the study. Based on the first stage of data analysis, the scope of investigation was expanded to include emerging identity states or identity process and the emotional experience of the group discussions. In the second phase of data analysis, intentional process and identity process data were analyzed for themes and the emotional experience data were coded. Results of both phases of data analysis are discussed in relation to future research and implications for practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Career development
  • Identity development
  • Intentionality and intentional states
  • Life construction
  • Qualitative method
  • Social constructionism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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