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“Life is like this, not as good as poetry”: The lived experience of a Chinese rural vocational school student in a mandatory quasi-employment internship

Liqi Hou, Chao Wang, Xiaoxi Bai and Xinfeng Tang

Children and Youth Services Review, 2020, vol. 109, issue C

Abstract: Internship is a key part of the experiences of Chinese secondary vocational school students. The quasi-employment internship, which requires students to undertake formal, independent work positions in factories, has led to many psychosocial problems. This case study aimed to understand the lived experience of an 18-year-old rural vocational school student during his internship. A semi-structured interview was carried out and interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to analyze the qualitative data. Five super-ordinate themes emerged from the analysis: the loss of control, regaining a sense of control, seeking an explanation for the meaning of life, forming a new self-identity, and uncertainty about the future. The findings convey how the quasi-employment internship disrupted a sense of control and meaning-making, yet helped cultivate a new self-identity.

Keywords: Vocational school students; Internship; Case study; Interpretative phenomenological analysis; Lived experience (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2019.104678

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