2012 Volume 79 Issue 1 Pages 13-24
The purpose of this study is to shed light on the daily lives of students who live in economically disadvantaged families and to explore how they experience their career choosing processes by analyzing their life stories. In this study I analyzed the interview data of three high school students to grasp their life stories from their childhood through their high school entrance examination periods. The interview data was categorized according to episodes as follows: "childhood period", "elementary school days", "junior high school days" and "high school entrance examination period". I divided those episodes of each period into three domains by referring to the categories which T. Ridge developed; "economic material domain" "academic, social and human relation's domain of school life" and "the domain of their personal and family lives and their environment." I depicted their life stories by paying attention to the connection among those three domains. As a result of data analysis, it was found that they are living their lives in synch with the family and are strengthening their reference to the family. This leads to the high-risk course. Poverty triggered family troubles, divorces and house-moving and made their family lives unstable. Students were simultaneously obsessed with writing graffiti and indulging in the Internet. By getting caught for those problems and difficulties, students were streamed into the tracks of low academic performance. After entering junior high school they began to take responsibilities in their housework which brought them a feeling of self-affirmation. On the other hand, they were becoming absorbed into the world of the Internet and cell-phones to get their self-identities. In the late modern age we must guarantee self-identities by ourselves. From these things, housework, the Internet and a cellular phone will be strongly related with their life style. While they lead such lives, they come to face the high school entrance examination. Although teachers expect students to act independently and choose their careers by themselves, their family environments were not suitable for their learning. Since they depend on their family, they choose a course based on "the reference of the family." Based on this study we should stress the importance of supporting students' daily lives and taking care of their psychological aspects such as their self-esteem and self-identity in order to support their studying and learning. Welfare departments have to work intensely to support the whole life of children. School needs to develop and implement various educational activities and supporting actions to secure feelings of self-affirmation and self-esteem for all children. Then it is necessary to catch the identity problem in the context of the late modern age. And we need to be cautious of it being connected with the reference to the family.