‘What Will I Be When I Grow up?’ Children’s Preferred Future Occupations and Their Stereotypical Views

Fani Tzampazi, Argyris Kyridis, Anastasia Christodoulou


This study explores the occupational preferences of 150 kindergarten and elementary school children living in urban, semi-urban and rural areas in Greece and the stereotypes that emerge from the choices they made when they were asked to make a drawing of ‘what they would like to be when they grow up’ and then to justify that choice. The statistical analysis of the data confirmed the findings made in previous studies: The analysis of variance showed that (a) the stereotypical representation of gender is more frequent among girls, (b) gender affects the choice of gender-typed occupations, as indicated by the boys’ more frequent choice of ‘traditionally masculine occupations’, (c) the educational background of the father affects children’s stereotyped choices, and (d) media and family influence is more frequent among younger children. Finally, the children’s justifications showed that, for the majority of the sample, their choice of occupation expresses a specific feeling, for a smaller percentage this choice expresses a certain playfulness, while for only a few does their choice express the desire for further knowledge and profit.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijssr.v1i1.3788


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