Career narratives of single black African mothers : a postmodernist exploration.
Career counselling with women is not the same as with men because women’s career development is highly intertwined with their roles as mothers and wives (Sharf, 2002). The current study argues that career counselling with black South African women cannot be the same as that of men nor that of all women because their career development is intertwined with an Afrocentric and a relational view of the self. Career counselling with black South African single mothers is unique because their career development is intertwined with their roles as single parents coupled with their relational view of themselves. It argues that modernist approaches to career counselling are inappropriate and irrelevant when working with black South African single mothers. To support this argument the study explored the unique career development experiences of Black South African single mothers using a postmodernist framework. The narrative inquiry framework was used to explore the career experiences of nine black South African single mothers. The narratives were analysed using Doucet and Mauthner’s (2008) voice-centred relational method. It was found that the unique experiences of black South African single mothers include the need for flexible working hours, social support and the need to play the role of both parents to their children. Modernist approaches to career counselling are unable to take these relational and socio-economic dilemmas into account when working with black South African single mothers. A Post-modern approach such as the Relational Cultural Approach is recommended as an appropriate career counselling tool when working with black South African single mothers.