The gender dimension of vocational education

boys in the Danish VET system

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Dual systems of vocational education and training (VET) are organised
around the principle of vocations. The strong vocationalism links VET
closely with working life and guides the students’ transitions to employment.
However, the future role of vocationalism is questioned. Young
peoples’ life courses are becoming increasingly destandardised and individualised, and this contradicts the highly standardised pathways and
identities offered by the vocations in VET. The chapter examines this
challenge for the Danish dual VET system based on a longitudinal study
of male students in the car mechanics programme. The students’ narratives
demonstrate a rich diversity of meanings of the vocation for these
students’ life histories, family relations and peer group engagement. For
the students, car mechanics was not just an education or a job. It appeared
as a complex configuration of vocational and gender identities, membership
of a skilled occupation, peer and family leisure and a future image of
a male breadwinner. Masculinity is deeply integrated in the meaning of
becoming a car mechanic, and this helps to explain the continued strength
and attractiveness of this vocation for boys in the VET system. It also
helps explain the stability of the traditional gender order in VET. Therefore,
the future of the vocations in the dual system of VET depends not
only on the ‘functional fit’ between the dual VET system and the employment
system. It also depends
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBerufsbildung zwischen Tradition und Moderne : Festschrift für Thomas Deißinger zum 60. Geburtstag
EditorsMatthias Pilz, Kathrin Breuing, Stephan Schumann
Number of pages13
PublisherSpringer Fachmedien Wiesbaden
Publication date3 Jan 2019
Pages161- 173
ISBN (Print)978-3-658-24459-0
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-658-24460-6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Cite this

Jørgensen, C. H. (2019). The gender dimension of vocational education: boys in the Danish VET system. In M. Pilz, K. Breuing, & S. Schumann (Eds.), Berufsbildung zwischen Tradition und Moderne: Festschrift für Thomas Deißinger zum 60. Geburtstag (pp. 161- 173). Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.