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Career development theories and approaches have been criticized for lack of applicability to diverse populations. Traditional career development theories and models assume that: everyone has a free choice among careers; career development is a linear, progressive, rational process; and individualism, autonomy and centrality of work are universal values. Career development research sometimes neglects important determinants such as racism, sexism, family background and opportunity structure in racial and ethnic minority populations. Career development practitioners must be prepared to work with clients in culturally sensitive and appropriate ways and should be aware of factors that affect the career choices of diverse individuals. These factors include world view (such as cooperation/communality versus competitive/individualistic, individualist versus collectivist), identity (racial, gender, group, bicultural), values (career, cultural), and context (internal and external barriers and resources). Culturally competent practitioners recognize how and why individuals' career-related experiences might be different and think outside their own cultural frames of reference in assisting people with their career development. (Contains 15 references.) (CG)

Descriptors: Acculturation, Career Choice, Career Counseling, Career Development, Counselor Client Relationship, Cross Cultural Studies, Cultural Exchange, Cultural Pluralism, Cultural Relevance, Cultural Traits, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Ethnicity, Minority Groups, Occupational Aspiration, Racial Identification, Reference Groups, Self Concept, Values, Work Attitudes, World Views

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Autor: Kerka, Sandra


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