Risk and uncertainty in the youth transition

Furlong, A. and Cartmel, F. (1997) Risk and uncertainty in the youth transition. Young: The Nordic Journal of Youth Research, 5(1), pp. 3-20. (doi:10.1177/110330889700500102)

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Over the last two decades, the transition from school to work in Britain has changed quite radically, as is the case in much of Western Europe. Transitions have become more protracted, routes have increased in complexity and sequences of events have changed. Whilst young people were once able to develop fairly clear ideas about their likely destinations in the labour market, today they are much more uncertain about the implications of following particular transitional routes. In this paper, we describe some of the main changes which have occurred over the last decade and discuss some of their implications. Our main argument is that despite the radical nature of the changes which have taken place, new opportunities are limited. For many young people, the underlying patterns of social reproduction largely remain intact, while for others we can identify new sources of vulnerability which may ultimately lead to marginalisation. Despite the existence of many continuities in transitional outcomes, the changes have left many young people without fixed points of reference and are associated with increased feelings of risk and uncertainty. Whereas subjective understandings of the social world were once shaped by class, gender and neighbourhood relations, the far reaching nature of the changes mean that today everything is presented as a possibility. We begin by describing some of the changes in patterns of educational participation in Britain, highlighting the extent to which differential educational outcomes have been maintained over the last couple of decades. We go on to look at the implications of these changes for young people’s labour market experiences.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cartmel, Mr Fred and Furlong, Professor Andy
Authors: Furlong, A., and Cartmel, F.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
Journal Name:Young: The Nordic Journal of Youth Research
Publisher:Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1741-3222

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