Changing parents’ perceptions of the skilled trades : overcoming stigmatization
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SubjectCulinary arts; Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis; Parent perception; Skilled trades; Stigma; Vocational education
Using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, I conducted six in-depth, one-to-one interviews of culinary arts students to study the change in parents’ perceptions of the skilled trades, specifically, the chef profession. The aim of the study was to discover what communications prompted parents to overcome the stigma of the skilled trades in order to change other parents’ minds. By changing the perceptions and stigma that are associated with the skilled trades, we can provide additional career options and opportunities for youth, while helping to narrow the skills gap and addressing labour shortages. The findings showed that parents held expectations for their children around education, career and values that were unconsciously based on maintaining or gaining status. When the children did not follow these expectations, parents used fear tactics, such as messages and statements to create self-doubt, negative stereotypes, and low wages to enforce stigma. Despite these stigmatized actions parents used against them, their children were able to change parents’ minds through multi-faceted communications that included stigma management, awareness of the Red Seal accreditation, and demonstration of their chef skills. The thesis deconstructs the journeys adult children experienced from parental expectations, stigmatization, and changes in perception. The thesis also provides recommendations for parents, educators, government, and the skilled trades industry.
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