chapter  3
16 Pages

The Pervasive Influence of Neoliberalism on Policy Guidance Discourses in Career/Education

Delimiting the Boundaries of Social Justice in New Zealand
ByBarrie A. Irving

The struggle for social justice in a neoliberal world presents particular challenges for career practitioners in schools, as they inhabit the borderlands between compulsory education and post-school life. I employ critical discourse analysis to explore international policy guidance perspectives on career/education, and examine how global expectations relate to what is happening in New Zealand. Particular attention is paid to the career education and guidance guidelines produced by the New Zealand Ministry of Education in 2009. Gaining critical insight into the multiple, complex and contradictory ways in which discourse, power, dominance, inequality and social injustice interconnect in policy guidance documents provides career practitioners with transformative and transgressive ways of reading the wor(l)d. I have utilised the term career/education and guidance, as this more accurately captures the differences and commonalities between these curriculum areas in a school context. Although I identify possibilities for practice, this is not a ‘feel good’ chapter where simple solutions are presented to address complex social problems.