Voices of the forgotten half: The role of social class in the school-to-work transition

David L. Blustein, Anna P. Chaves, Matthew A. Diemer, Laura A. Gallagher, Kevin G. Marshall, Selcuk Sirin, Kuldhir S. Bhati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the impact of social class on the school-to-work (STW) transitions of young adults in working-class occupations. Using an exploratory, qualitative research methodology, interviews were conducted with 10 men and 10 women to examine the role of social class in the STW transition. All participants were working in low-skilled jobs and grouped into 2 cohorts based on their family's socioeconomic background: higher socioeconomic status (HSES) and lower socioeconomic status (LSES). The findings indicate that social class played an important role in the participants' STW transition. Individuals from the HSES cohort expressed greater interest in work as a source of personal satisfaction, higher levels of self-concept crystallization, greater access to external resources, and greater levels of career adaptability compared with their LSES counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-323
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Counseling Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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