Perspectives on desirable work: Findings from a q study with students and parents in rural Ghana

Thomas Yeboah, James Sumberg, Justin Flynn, Nana Akua Anyidoho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The perspectives of young people and parents are important to policy that seeks to address youth unemployment in Africa. A systematic understanding of these should help to avoid implementation failure caused by incompatible assumptions or world views, and increase the likelihood that policies promoted by officials will be effective. We present results of a series of Q Methodology studies with senior high school students and parents at two rural locations in Ghana. At both sites, the dominant perspective among students and parents was that professional jobs were most desirable and that low-skill or manual jobs were least desirable. There was little indication that respondents saw "being your own boss" as making a job desirable. Students showed a strong social ethos: jobs were desirable if they helped people, made the world a better place or built the nation. These results have important implications for strategies that seek to address youth unemployment primarily by promoting entrepreneurship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-440
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
Volume29
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Africa
  • aspirations
  • entrepreneurship
  • unemployment
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development

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