How does vocational orientated education form professional role expectations? A case study among Austrian journalism students
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
13th Conference of the European Sociological Association
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Using survey data from Austrian journalism students (n=428) we explore the following questions:
a.) Which differences in the motivations for studying vocationally orientated programs like journalism are tied to the socioeconomic background?
b.) What role models do students associate with the profession? How do those change as they progress in their studies?
c.) Are motivations and role models interrelated? How stable are those constructs?
Recent studies show that convertibility of vocational training into advantages on the labour market is an increasing factor when deciding on university curricula, especially in times of economic and social uncertainty. This evokes questions: Are there differences regarding the meaning associated with the professions students train for, particularly in programmes closely associated with specific professions like journalism? We would argue that this is inherently tied to social strata and primary socialisation experienced within a certain socioeconomic background, including the educational background of the parents. Furthermore university programmes act as secondary socialisation instances, which not only impart knowledge and skills, but also values commonly associated with a profession. Thus, we reason that the orientations that resulted from primary socialisation experiences will change over time spent at the university and become more homogenous. Nevertheless motivations and associated role models are interrelated and do not dissolve completely. Using a structural equation model, we show those interactions and how even over time they deeply tie in with socioeconomic factors. Despite studying a case we want to discuss the broader implications concerning professional ethics and their relation to educational programmes.