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New Generation's Career Aspirations and New Ways of Marginalization in a Postindustrial Economy

Jung-ah Choi
British Journal of Sociology of Education
Vol. 26, No. 2 (Apr., 2005), pp. 269-283
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30036062
Page Count: 15
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New Generation's Career Aspirations and New Ways of Marginalization in a Postindustrial Economy
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Abstract

The 1990s, a decade of democratic advances and consumption euphoria in South Korea, heralded a new wind called 'neoliberal education'. It is within this historical juncture that I conducted an ethnographic research on low-income youths who had dropped out of mainstream high schools. While I investigated these youths' educational and career aspirations, I examined how discourses in neoliberal freedom and free marketization shape (and are shaping) these youths' self-fashioning. Central to my analysis is how this process of identity construction is intersected with class marginality. A predominate number of youths in my research express their preference in service sector and/ or entertainment industries. The paper addresses how neoliberal discourses and consumerism rhetoric are negotiated and transformed in youth's narratives on aspirations. The analysis speaks to the ideological pitfall of neoliberalism, echoing critical scholars' thesis that neoliberalistic education with free market principles perpetuated and broadened existing inequalities.

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