We are surrounded by references to vocation and calling in daily life. One of the aims of this module is to help us become more aware of these. At this stage, we are simply interested in mapping and brainstorming a range of definitions as the phrase 'vocation' has a range of meanings depending on context.
The images below provide examples of messages designed to 'call out' to others in relation to work.
Vocation is sometimes discussed within classic literature.......
Popular cultural contexts
Click on the video below of Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement Address of 2005. It lasts around 15 minutes and reveals Jobs' views on career and inner voice. Please make a quick note of these as you listen.
Discussion of the video
You may have picked up on the following phrases:
'You've got to find what you love'
'Keep looking and don't settle'
'Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life'
Listen to your 'inner voice' and 'follow your heart ' they 'truly know what you want to become'
'Stay hungry, stay foolish'
Jobs argues passionately for his particular approach to career and vocation. Perhaps he is a llttle idealistic? Does he neglect the importance of settling? No doubt you will also be aware of your own views on these topics and the views of others.
Training and education contexts
The phrases 'vocational education and training' and 'vocational qualifications' are in wide circulation e.g. National Vocational Qualifications. Sometimes they are used in opposition to 'academic route' or 'academic qualifications'. Politicians from both sides of the spectrum often talk about improving the status of vocational qualifications and training routes. This apparent division between academic and vocational is not accepted by everyone (see the work of Weber in section 4).
Consider the role of vocation in religious traditions e.g. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or Judaism. For example, the Bible contains many stories featuring characters who receive divine instruction and numerous references to work and vocation. You may have also come across the phrase 'right livelihood' that refers to certain Buddhist traditions concerned with engagement in ethical work. There is an interesting section on Islamic, Buddhist and Catholic 'work ethics' in Noon, Blyton & Morrell (2013: 58-59) see section 11.
Perhaps you have come across other meanings and contexts for vocation and calling?
What about additional examples from work contexts?
What about educational contexts? The mass media?
What about other religious traditions?
What about non-religious meanings of vocation?
You are asked to share one of these in the forum by 15th July 2014 as part of the formative assessment exercise