Cultural Practice of Non-Academic Work in Mexico

Actors in vocational training cooperation often report that the success of their projects is hampered by an unfavourable imageor problematicattitudestowards vocational training. In Mexico, too, the orientation of training demanders, training institutions and companies towards academic training is an obstacle to the implementation of dual vocational training. This phenomenon, which has so far been described somewhat vaguely in terms of the white-collar syndrome, will be analysed for Mexico.

More specifically, subjective constructions of meaning (such as horizons of expectation, social representations, or stereotypes of work) are surveyed, and are then related to collective forms of institutionalization of work and employment relationships.

Thus, the project aims at developing an understanding of the cultural practices and institutional frameworks that shape, for example, career choices.

Actors in the Mexican dual vocational training(Modelo Mexicano de Formación Dual, MMFD) can use the insights gained from the project, for example for the purpose of personnel acquisition, reputational gains, or the design of pedagogical settings.

The project strives fordeveloping and testing a set of tools for analysing practices related to cultures of work, which will contribute to vocational pedagogical theory building. The toolset can also be used in the realm of vocational training cooperation for the purpose of comparative country studies or country analyses.


This project investigates selected sectors, enterprises, educational institutions and individuals in the states of Hidalgo (gastronomy & mechanical engineering) and Jalisco (tourism & administration). These case studies comprise the following nine steps:

  1. Analysis of sector specific data, from which hypotheses are derived regarding the context factors of non-academic work;
  2. Analysis of artefacts (e.g., images, films, novels, school books etc.) using the documentary method, from which hypotheses are derived regarding social representations of non-academic work;
  3. Acquisition of interview partners in cooperation with our partners from the German-Mexican Chamber of Industry and Commerce(CAMEXA);
  4. Developing an introductory question forbiographical interviewsand an interview guide for expert interviewsbased on the first two steps;
  5. Conducting 24 biographical interviews and 16 expert interviews;
  6. Evaluating interview and developing situation maps;
  7. Validation of preliminary results through critical discussions with experts in the frame of focus groups;
  8. Systematic comparative analysis of cases;
  9. Synthetic summary of overall project results as well as elaboration of publications and final project report.


Project details and contact


August 2019 – September 2022


Funding reference number



Contact persons

Prof. Dr. Ute Clement

Universität Kassel

Institut für Berufsbildung

Henschelstr. 2

34127 Kassel


Prof. Dr. Stefan Gold

Universität Kassel

Institut für Betriebswirtschaftslehre

Kleine Rosenstr. 3

34117 Kassel


Project management

Prof. Dr. Clement & Prof. Dr. Gold


Project team members

Dr. Paola García Fuentes

Universität Kassel

Henschelstr. 2

34127 Kassel


Claudia Hunink

Universität Kassel

Henschelstr. 2

34127 Kassel


Cooperating institutions (national and international):

Universidad Guadalajara: Prof. Dr. Martha Vergara
Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo: Prof. Dr. Lydia Raesfeld
Deutsch-Mexikanische Industrie- und Handelskammer (CAMEXA): Andreas Müller