Shaped by place? Young people’s aspirations in disadvantaged neighbourhoods

Kintrea, K. , St Clair, R. and Houston, M. (2015) Shaped by place? Young people’s aspirations in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Journal of Youth Studies, 18(5), pp. 666-684. (doi: 10.1080/13676261.2014.992315)

101524.pdf - Accepted Version



This paper aims to better understand the relationship between young people's aspirations towards education and jobs, and the context in which they are formed, especially to understand better the role of disadvantaged places in shaping young people's aspirations. Policy makers maintain that disadvantaged areas are associated with low aspirations and there is support for this position from academic work on neighbourhood effects and local labour markets, but evidence is slim. Using a two-stage survey of young people in disadvantaged settings in three British cities, the paper provides new data on the nature of young peoples’ aspirations, how they change during the teenage years, and how they relate to the places where they are growing up. The findings are that aspirations are very high and, overall, they do not appear to be depressed in relation to the jobs available in the labour market either by the neighbourhood context or by young people's perceptions of local labour markets. However, there are significant differences between the pattern of aspirations and how they change over time in the three locations. The paper then challenges assumptions in policy and in the literature that disadvantaged places equal low aspirations and suggests that understanding how aspirations are formed requires needs a nuanced approach to the nexus of class, ethnicity and institutional influences within local areas.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor and Francis in Journal of Youth Studies on 13/02/2015, available online:
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Houston, Dr Muir and Kintrea, Professor Keith
Authors: Kintrea, K., St Clair, R., and Houston, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > People, Place & Social Change
Journal Name:Journal of Youth Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis (Routledge)
ISSN (Online):1469-9680
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Journal of Youth Studies 18(5):666-684
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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