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The Social Construction of Competition for Graduate Jobs: A Comparison between Great Britain and the Netherlands

Tholen, G. (2013). The Social Construction of Competition for Graduate Jobs: A Comparison between Great Britain and the Netherlands. Sociology, 47(2), pp. 267-283. doi: 10.1177/0038038512444815

Abstract

This article examines how Dutch and British students socially construct the positional competition for jobs within their educational and labour market contexts. The findings illustrate two contrasting approaches to employability. The competition for jobs as understood by the Dutch students is based on absolute performance, an unclear relationship between skills and the labour market, and the development of human capital in areas of experiences, skills and abilities. For the British students it is based on relative performance, ranking of candidates and the importance of signals. The study also shows that these principles are aligned to national labour market and educational contexts. These results highlight the importance of the institutional context in how the positional competition for graduate jobs is played out.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Sage 2013
Publisher Keywords: competition, cross-national comparison, education, graduate employability, labour market, skills
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/14888
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