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Young Men's Choice of Fashion as a Career Path: "Seekers" and "Settlers"

  • Karpova, Elena (Dept. of Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management, Iowa State University) ;
  • Lee, Juyoung (School of Human Science, Mississippi State University) ;
  • Garrin, Ashley (Graduate College, Iowa State University)
  • Received : 2018.09.08
  • Accepted : 2018.12.05
  • Published : 2018.12.30

Abstract

This study explored men's choice of fashion as a college major and, subsequently, a non-traditional career path. Such investigation is important to gain a better understanding of the motives and processes of selecting a non-traditional college major and subsequent career path. This research consulted several theoretical frameworks to guide the development of research questions and help interpret the findings of the study. Specifically, our study builds upon Holland's trait theory (1982), Gottfredson's (1981) circumscription theory, Farmer's (1985) model of career motivation, and Simpson's (2005) typology of men's non-traditional career entry. A qualitative method was used to explore men's experiences of selecting fashion as an academic major in college and deciding to pursue a career in the traditionally female-dominated field. Following the analysis of 22 individual interviews with male upperclassmen majoring in fashion, three topical areas emerged and we proposed a model of male students' path to a non-traditional college major. The model explains male students' dynamics of entering a non-traditional college major, the role of personal and social factors in the decision process as well as the role of future career orientation when choosing to study fashion as an academic major.

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Figure 1. Seekers and Settlers: Male students’ paths to a non-traditional college major

Table 1. Description of participants

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