Youth and Generation

 

 

THE CHANGING AVAILABILITY OF GRANDPARENTS AS CARERS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR CHILDCARE POLICY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Author(s): A. Gray  

Since Britain has relatively low provision of childcare services by comparison with other N. European states, grandparents continue to be an important source of help with childcare for working parents. Different estimates of the proportion of working mothers who regularly call upon grandparents for childcare vary between one in five and one in four. There is concern that the availability of grandparents as child-carers may be declining, due to rising employment rates amongst successive cohorts of older women, and due to increasing geographical dispersion of extended families.
This paper will have three parts. Firstly, it will review existing literature on the role of grandparents as child-carers. Secondly, it will offer new evidence from the UK Time Use Survey on the amounts of time spend by women and men over the age of 45 in providing childcare to other households, and the number of hours of care received by children from their grandparents, differentiating both care-giving and care-receiving generations by age, employment status, occupation and region. Thirdly, these findings are combined with demographic evidence about the likelihood that mothers in successive cohorts have had their own mother still alive and well, living in the same local authority district and not employed full-time, during the period when their first child was aged 3-11.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LE TAG ET LE GRAFF MURAL: EXPRESSIONS DE LA RELEGATION URBAINE

Author(s): Alain Milon

Phenomena dating back to the mid-1980's, tags and murals seem to modify the City's face by integrating more or less well into the urban environment. Some people consider these marks to be dirt or visual pollution, while others see them as specifically urban expressions that participate completely in the life of the City. In reality, the question here is not to judge the value of these "marks," but rather to examine how they participate in the construction of this urban face or landscape. Are tags and murals a part of a City's skin, or are they but scars more or less deeply engraved on its body? To answer this question it will be necessary to consider the singularity of these marks that lack their own proper space, tags and murals. Concepts analysed: Both rap singers and graff writers relegate the inhabitants of the town exactly as they have been relegated from the town's space. The rap singer relagates listeners by a syncoped sentence, the graff writer by an incomprehensible calligraphy. At the same time, they are relegated from the ordinary language and from the traditional artistic codes. This is why the figure of " relegation " questions the public space and the civility: " who is the owner of the street ? ", " what is an act of citizenship ? ".

 

 

BETWEEN MOBILITY AND LOCAL AND SOCIAL ATTACHMENT - RURAL STUDENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Author(s): Agnete Wiborg

In this paper I want to discuss how challenges related to formation of identity and life course in modern society are handled by young students from rural areas in Norway who study at a regional university. In discourses of modern society there is much emphasis on individual freedom and identity. In this context it is stressed how the individual has been disconnected from traditional and social ties and obligations to make their individual choices. It is also claimed that places have lost importance for formation of identity and life course because of increased globalisation and mobility. In this context mobility has become a central value in modern society. It can be argued that higher education contributes to disconnect students from rural areas from their social and geographical background and guide them in an urban middle class direction. In this study which is based on interviews, the students are in a situation of varying degree of transition both socially, culturally and geographically. They had to move in order to take higher education, and very few of them have immediate plans for moving back. This, however, does not mean that they are detached from their geographical and social background. I want to argue that despite increased value given to mobility and freedom of choice, geographical and social background is still important in the formation of identity and life course for the students. However, local and social attachment take new forms and have now elements of mobility and choice.

 

 

SUBCULTURE OF STIMULANT USERS IN ESTONIA

Author(s): Airi-Alina Allaste

Youth subcultures, the use of illicit drugs, and the relationship between the two were thoroughly influenced by the opening of Estonia to international influences in the 1990s. In contrast to Western countries, that have witnessed widespread drug-use in sixties, illicit drug use in the context of youth subcultures is a new phenomenon in Estonia. As a first wave of illicit drug use outside marginal groups, it has similarities to the counter-cultures of the sixties Recreational drug use on the other hand strongly influenced by the international club-culture of nineties. The paper concentrates on the subculture of stimulant users whose first initiation to drug use have taken place in club- scene. The empirical part of the paper relays on participant observation and on 12 in-depth interviews conducted in November 2002. Although prevailing norms in the subculture stress the importance of internal control, many individuals have became heavy users and started to inject. Latter is considered a sign of addiction and is considered deviant not only by the dominant culture, but also by the youth subculture itself. The paper explores the importance and influence of norms in subculture and questions concerning the social processes of becoming drug-addict.

 

 

JÓVENES PAREJAS DE HECHO FRANCESAS Y ESPAÑOLAS Y CONSTRUCCIÓN DE LA IDENTIDAD

Author(s): Alejandra Gaviria Sabbah

Los jóvenes franceses y españoles se van de casa en momentos distintos y de manera distinta. El objetivo de esta comunicación será de mostrar que si esto se produce es porque siguen procesos de construcción de su identidad personal diferentes. Los jóvenes franceses siguen un proceso de individualización más fuerte que los españoles y desarrollan más que los primeros su identidad personal y no su identidad estatutaria. En Francia los jóvenes se construyen lejos de la familia y en una lógica de autonomía. El objetivo primero es descubrirse a si mismos. En España, cerca y con protección familiar. El objetivo es descubrirse pero que esto no ponga en cuestión la identidad familiar. Veremos a través del ejemplo de las parejas de hecho en los dos pases, como une misma situación de convivencia refleja realidades distintas y relaciones conyugales y familiares que no tienen los mismos rasgos. Por ejemplo mientras que los jóvenes franceses se pondrán a vivir en pareja sin avisar a los p! adres los españoles pedirán "permiso". Los primeros hace años que viven solos y fuera del hogar familiar en el momento de la instalación en pareja mientras que los segundos a menudo salen en ese momento de la casa familiar o solo han tenido una corta experiencia fuera del hogar. Este análisis concluirá con una reflexión sobre la precaución con la que hay que tomar cuando se trata de comparaciones internacionales los datos estadísticos.

 

 

YOUTH CULTURE AND "RITE OF LIFE PROJECTS"?

Author(s): Allan Sande

The aim of this article is to present a theoretical discussion on the subject on young people and rite of passage in modern societies in Europe. Empirical studies of young people give a picture of revitalisation of old tradition of ?rite of passage? (Beccaria and Sande 2003) and the construction of modern rites in the risk society (Beck 1996). In sociology the theoretical perspective of Durkheim and Van Gennep has dominated the development and interpretation of traditional ritual and modern forms of transgression and rites. In the modern local and global youth culture, use of alcohol for intoxication purposes is the key symbol for ?free flow? in the phase of transgression from childhood to the individual life project of creating one?s social identity. This mixing of old ritual structures, and modern reflexive individualisation rituals, has led to coining a new concept of ?rite of life projects?. The modern innovations of practice combine a ritual structure of traditional forms of ?rite of passage? (Van Gennep 1960, Turner 1969) with modern individualistic rite (Beck 1997). This modern experimental practice also differs from the concept of ?rite of initiation? developed by Bourdieu (1996). The difference is the symbolic and reflexive focus on the individual choice and game-play with the rules, norms and symbols of normal society. Within the rituals young people make up common rules and codes for their individualistic ?life projects?, symbols and life styles in modern- day society. But the rituals are still connected to the local community and to different national and religious contexts. Lash and Urry (1994) and (Lash 1994) have made a cretique of Beck?s and Giddens reflexive individualism basted on the cognitive dimension. According to Lach whey lack the aesthetic reflexivity in the global economy and culture. In the paper I want to elaborate a new theory and concept of ?rite of life projects? based on a discussion of Lash and Urry?s the theories of aesthetic reflexivity.

 

 

DEVELOPMENTAL THINKING, STANDARDIZED PACKAGES AND CHILDREN'S INSCRIPTIONS

Author(s): André Turmel

The basic question might be worded as follows: what does developmental thinking through such device as a chart or a graph illustrating parts of children's body bring up and muster into the social fabric? A second, subsequent, question ensues almost immediately: how does developmental thinking's technical device relate to cognition? The modification of the fabric made through a device's mediation articulates and revolves around three basic operations: new forms of child observation, of inscription, and of visualisation of children's bodies. Tabulated data of the child's body into an abstract figure must be, and is a formal basic condition, accessible - in the form of traces, numbers, diagrams, etc. - by being readable and discussable among all of the collective's components, not solely experts or professionals. Accessibility to the cognitive device entails the indispensable predicament for securing the whole connection between families, peers, schools, clinics, hospitals, the state, etc. Visually accessible categories in child development's device based on readability and discussability features took the form of age grading structuration - and eventually age norms - in the broader process of sorting out, thus classifying children in various settings.

 

 

THE YOUTH IN THE LOCAL LABOR MARKET

Author(s): Andrey Zuev

Formation of the public relations at a local level is new phenomenon for Russia. Earlier a central authority limited the region freedom deliberately. Today the new system of a local authority is formed. The study, which had place in Tambow town, was devoted to complex of problems of the local labor market. The investigation was conducted in two stages on a uniform technique, with using of identical questionnaire. The sample of research was formed by a casual image at observance of two conditions. The interrogated person was oriented to work on conditions of hiring. B. The observance of aging parameters of interrogated persons (16-25 years). The decrease of a share of those, who does not work and is not learnt, has some reasons. First of all, it can be connected with by an economic situation in families, which compels to search for additional sources of vital means. The part of the young people refuses searches of work, at least, on official channels, and obtains means to existence outside of the employment sphere. The increase of a share those, who works constantly, but nevertheless, has addressed to employment service speaks about deterioration of the people opinion about a situation in the regional market of labor. The system of values, in which representations about supremacy of public needs before personal dominant, in a greater degree loses leading rule. The interrogated young people present the high requirements to prospective job as well as before, and (that introduces a certain degree of novelty) to themselves. Thus the youth degree of selectivity by job searching has considerably decreased.

 

 

YOUNG WOMEN AND THE YOUTH CITIZENSHIP DEBATE

Author(s): Anita Harris

New agendas for youth citizenship, voice and participation take on particular meanings for young women, who are increasingly imagined as those best able to seize opportunities in a rapidly changing world. Ideas such as girlpower seem to position them well to represent their countries, lead movements for intercultural harmony, to take their place in the public sphere and actively engage in their communities. At the same time that girlhood is being re-figured in these ways, possibilities for youth civic engagement are also being transformed. Youth citizenship is increasingly constructed around responsibilities rather than rights, youth voice is mainly heard through highly managed forms of participation, and consumption has become a central channel for expression. How are young women differently and specifically affected by these new constructions of civic engagement? How has girlpower positioned young women as the new kind of global youth citizen and does this enable or constrain their political articulations?

 

 

TIME AND SPACE IN THE DIFFERENT LIFE-PHASES OF THE LIFE COURSE

Author(s): Anna-Liisa Närvänen and Elisabet Näsman

How are time-space regimes ordering everyday life during various life-phases? Is time-space ordering related to ideas of normality in various life-phases? How do individuals understand and negotiate these regimes? How may time-space-activity patterns be understood as presentations of self? Which performative arenas are especially relevant for manifestation of the self during different life phases? Which impression management strategies are used by different age categories in different contexts, in interaction with others defined as the same age or with others defined as belonging to other life-phases? These are some of the general issues raised in this paper about childhood and old age. From a life-course perspective the interest is focussed on how life-phases are socially and culturally constructed in terms of time and space. The age related social positions as 'child', 'young or 'old' are seen as relational, i.e. defined by and defining other age related positions in interaction among and between individuals ascribed belonging to a particular life phase. We furthermore stress the scope of action - agency - of these age categories in relation to others. Issues of temporality and social action are raised such as the time horizon of young and old people and their temporal orientation in terms of present, past and future. The life course perspective is developed and forms the theoretical background together with Goffman's ideas about time, space and identities. These ideas are applied in a discussion about the everyday life of young and old in various contexts such as the home, the school, institutions for care of old people, etc. Of interest is to see if and how general tendencies of society such as the promotion of participatory democracy, individualisation and increased flexibility in time-space patterns have an impact on the social ordering of and negotiations about time-space-activity patterns in these life-phases.

 

 

COMPLEMENTARITY BETWEEN QUANTITATIVE LONGITUDINAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL DATA

Author(s): Armelle Testenoire and Danièle Trancart

This paper aims at showing the complementarity between quantitative longitudinal survey and biographical interviews to analyze the social integration trajectories of youngsters working in the accommodation and catering sector. The latter caracterised by important mobile influxes is for a first insertion. If the longitudinal analysis gives the opportunity to assert the flow of mobility and access to skilled jobs, it doesn't enable us to understand the motivating forces for this. Biographical interviews with young people permitted to understand the meaning they give to their career. This paper deals with methodological aspects and with main results.

 

 

THE "BOTELLÓN". A POST-MODERN CONFLICT IN SPAIN

Author(s): Artemio Baigorri, Mar Chaves, Ramón Fernández and José López

The paper analyzes a conflict generalized in the Spanish cities. Among the citizens that want to rest, and the youths that want to have a good time. The space temporary coincidence of those you interest opposed it generates conflicts. The time of the youths' leisure and the time of rest of the adults coincide in the same space. The paper analyzes the nature of the conflict, and its extension in Spain.

 

 

 

YOUTH INITIATIVES IN SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, THE CASE OF SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA REGION, TURKEY

Author(s): Aygul Fazliogluand and Sezai Hazir

The ages between 15-24 is the period of self-determination and self-development of a young person. Within this period, young people find the opportunity to participate in decision making mechanisms, actively involve in social and economic life, examine their capability in a team work and take part in activities which support their social development. Youth, who are the partners of today and leaders of tomorrow constitute the most dynamic section of the society and %23 of the population in the South Eastern Anatolia that is a less developed region in Turkey. When we look upon the socio-economic indicators within the region, the indicators related to youth such as education, unemployment taking the priority, are not quite well and the number of activities that support their social development are restricted. Therefore, it is obvious that they cannot take part in decision -making processes sufficiently. Within this statement, the problems and tendencies of youth within GAP Region, youth organizations, GAP Youth and Culture Centres as models, participatory comprehensions of democracy, the obstacles faced in youth participation and the potential of youth to overcome these obstacles and their empowerment will be examined. The Key Words; GAP, GAP Youth and Culture Center, Youth, Participation, Organization

 

 

YOUNG PEOPLE AND LOCAL, NATIONAL, AND EUROPEAN IDENTITIES: MANAGING SPATIAL IDENTITY IN A GLOBALISED WORLD

Author(s): Carsten Yndigegn

The aim of this paper is to establish a theoretical and methodological framework for the discussion of how young people manage their spatial identities in the era of globalisation. Young people are significant because they are positioned in the torrent of the social transformation. They are seismographs that are first among the generations to catch up with the possibilities in the current life conditions. They create values, attitudes, and life styles that interact with established positions in creating the future cultural and political framework, and they become foundations for the future society. Focus is on young people living in the periphery of Denmark. The paper will address how young people manage their spatial identities when challenged with the dichotomies between centre-periphery, national-multinational, and nation-Europe. The new world-order or cosmopolitan issues will although not be included. The young people are confronted with and challenged by other regional identities, the national identity, and to some degree foreign identities when they are making decisions about their future life planning. Mobility is a challenge that put their cultural anchored identity on a trial, and thereby testing its solidity and validity. The discussion in this paper builds on findings from a recently fulfilled research project, and further outline issues that have to be addressed in future research.

 

 

BECOMING ADULT IN EUROPE: IDENTITY LOGICS AND SOCIAL FRAMEWORKS

Author(s): Cécile Van De Velde

The aim of this paper is to analyse the contemporary forms of the pathway towards adulthood in european countries. It examines the main steps and subjective experiences of the autonomisation process across four european countries (Denmark, the United Kingdom, France, Spain), on the basis of a twofold material : longitudinal data from Europanel and in-depth interviews conducted in each country. In this approach, youth is conceptualised as a social and cultural construction : the main hypothesis that underlie the analysis is that the individual experience of becoming adult is deeply linked to the type of the family and social bond in each society. In a first part, the paper will define four ideal-types of autonomy trajectories. This theorical model will be empirically verified in the second part, by developing each of these logics in relation to the social and cultural basis that make it likely to be prevailing in a given society.

 

 

INTERGENERATIONAL RELATIONS AND THE TRANSITION OUT OF THE PARENTAL HOME: A COMPARISON ON BRITAIN, SPAIN AND NORWAY

Author(s): Clare Holdsworth

There is considerable interest in young people's varying experiences of leaving home throughout Europe, in particular the stark contrasts between early leaving in northern Europe and late leaving in southern Europe. Of the complex causal factors that influence these diverse transitions, the impact of intergenerational relations has received little attention. Yet, we might expect that young people who leave home in their late twenties have very different relationships with their parents compared to those who leave earlier. This paper will address the relationship between parent-adult child relationships and leaving home for young people and parents in three European countries: Britain, Spain and Norway. Using in-depth qualitative interviews with both parents and young people, the paper explores how relationships between parents and children influence leaving home transitions and how these relationships change during the transition out of the parental home. The paper concludes with a discussion of ways of re-conceptualising intergenerational relations

 

 

 

YOUNG HEROIN USERS, TREATMENT AND THE METHADONE MONOPOLY

Author(s): Colin Webster

This paper focuses on the treatment of heroin use among young people in the Teesside area. It arises directly from a recently completed qualitative study by the author in which in-depth interviews were conducted with 25 young heroin users and 15 different drug treatment agencies. The paper examines drug treatment interventions, non-interventions and opportunities in relation to heroin users, drug and crime careers. It looks at the local politics of drug treatment within and between agencies and the relationships between local treatment regimes and national policies and details examples of good and bad practice. The paper also provides a picture and analysis of young users' views and experiences of drug treatment , or more accurately benign neglect. The paper essentially critiques actual drug treatment approaches to young heroin users and suggests more effective alternatives rooted in holistic approaches.

 

 

 

YOUNG SOCIAL BENEFIT RECIPIENTS IN THE EUROPEAN WELFARE STATE - A LIFE COURSE PERSPECTIVE

Author(s): Christer Hyggen

In this paper theoretical arguments and previous empirical research are used to discuss the impact of receiving social benefit over the life course. Some researchers argue that the transition from youth to adulthood has great impact on individuals later adaptation and coping throughout the life course. One important feature of this transition is the transition from school to work and the expected economical independence. A growing number of people in the western welfare states face the risk of unemployment and periods of poverty during this transition. This might cause a shift for individuals in economical dependency from private provision by parents or the family to public provision like unemployment benefits or social assistance benefits. It has been assumed that receiving social security benefits at an early stage of life has a greater potential impact for the rest of the life course than receiving benefits at later stages. A growing school of research on welfare dependency! has focused on incentive- and disincentive- effects embedded in the welfare states with a growing concern of assumed links between generous welfare benefits and low work commitment. Further it has been assumed that receiving social assistance benefits create a passive state of dependency of the welfare state. Questions raised in this paper includes: What distinguishes social benefit recipients from non-recipients? To what extent can receiving social benefits be explained by differences in the situation in the family and changes in income?. What are the consequences of receiving social benefits at an early stage of the life course for individuals ability to be self-provisioned at later stages?

 

 

YOUTH IN GALICIA

Author(s): Daniel Blanch and Elisa Rustenbach

Youth in Europe have been experiencing the same integration process that, in conjunction with cultural and economic globalisation, has influenced and even progressively changed several core Western values, while other values seem to have remained relatively unchanged. Family structures in much of Europe have undergone a profound transformation, as youth attitudes show increasing tolerance of alternate lifestyles and of questions traditionally labelled under the category of permissiveness. Still, many behavioural patterns have not changed drastically. For example, in Southern European countries there is still strong dependency on the family network. How are these apparently contradictory tendencies to be reconciled? Several recent theoretical and empirical analyses provide some clues, pointing at underlying patterns that change slowly over generations, while attitudes vary more in tandem with the environmental transformations taking place currently throughout Europe. Our research finds that youth in N.W. Spain's region of Galicia demonstrate strong indications of this shift in attitudes, coupled with a less variable and more steadfast positioning on certain underlying cultural factors that limit the actual range of behaviour modification and variation.

 

 

TABULA RASA OR TERRA INCOGNITA. INNOVATION AND TRADITION IN DRUG PREVENTION IN RUSSIAN SOCIAL POLICY

Author(s): Elena Omel'chenko

In the 1990s the exponential growth of drug use in Russia spawned the creation of numerous services, centres, and clinics dealing with prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of problem drug users. The majority of such institutions were set up by local administrative bodies, although some emerged as independent public organisations or commercial enterprises. The gradual institutionalisation of the non-governmental sector and the commercialisation of drug prevention work raised important questions about how innovative drug prevention work - often using diverse resources and with different and sometimes contradictory aims - might be most effectively incorporated into regional social policy. This paper draws on extensive qualitative sociological research into the policies, practices and ideologies of regional social policy actors to explore the tensions between innovative and traditional drug prevention work in post-Soviet Russia in the context of acute competition in regional markets of drug prevention and treatment services between and within the state and commercial sectors. The paper also discusses the ideological aspects of 'struggle' between innovative and traditional drug prevention strategies in a society undergoing an intensive increase in incidence and prevalence of drug use. Finally the paper will draw on new data to explore young people's experience and evaluation of drug prevention work.

 

 

PROBLEMS OF CHILDHOOD IN MODERN RUSSIA

Author(s): Elena Pronina

According to the data given by the Child Fund the percent of children regarding to the total population in Russia decreased by 3,4% for the last years. The number of children died in the age under one year regarding to the one thousand who was born alive increased by 15%. During these years the number of children-invalids increased by more than 3 times. More than 60% of school-children suffer from different chronic diseases. In the state institutions where children from non-rich families live and study the number of school-children increased almost by 70%; and the number of these institutions has been increased almost by 3 times. The growth of the number of crimes, persons being judged, homeless-boys and children with low mental capabilities allows us to say that there is a crisis situation in Russia in the sphere of childhood and that this situation can be threatened for the security of the country in the whole. The rigid stratification of the Russian society becomes a severe test for the children and teenagers of the risk group. The work becomes the only way of survive for many of them. The practice of using of child labor is a phenomenon which influences the life of 200 millions of children along all the world. The differences in the destiny of working and non-working children of Russia are explained by such factors as culture, family economic status, place of living, sex, age, diseases, ethnical status and religion.

 

 

 

FREEDOM AND GROWING-UP: FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF YOUNG GENERATION OF RUSSIA

Author(s): Elena Pryamikova

In conditions of transformation of a society the most painful and lasting is the process of changing of norms and values of public consciousness. I use data of "Strategies of becoming adults..." research project (15-19 age, Ekaterinburg, 2002/2003). Comparing their own growing-up with the similar process of the parents, young people name a degree of freedom in the most various spheres of life as the basic difference. It explains some features of constructing by them their own process of growing-up. 1) Norms and values of the senior generation are not quite admitted suitable for life in a modern free Russian society. 2) At a low level of social security in a society, young people have to rely only up on themselves. 3) In free, but an astable society the risk of a choice is very great, much depends on circumstances, and young people frequently do not put the far-reaching purposes. Young people more often do not aspire to become adults faster. A relative freedom of action in daily life is accessible already to much of young people. Freedom of a should-be-done choice causes fears in many of them. Thus, we can note already existing value of freedom as one of characteristics of a modern society for young people, but we can not speak about acceptance of this value as a determining one in development and realization of life plans.

 

 

SOCIAL CRISIS AND LEADERSHIP OF YOUTH: FUTURE AFTER THE "END OF WORK"

Author(s): Elena S. Gvozdeva

This paper is the outcome of the successful project on leadership of youth, implemented by the team of young researches. Young generation, being raised in the time of social crisis must form better understanding of leadership as a factor of modernization of post communist society. The following questions are considered: uncertainty and how the young generation can cope with it, "end of work" and Russia's "third way" in the world. The paper advances the idea prompted by proceedings prepared within the UN Development Program. What if we make an attempt to see the society where access to the generated material and moral values is determined not only on the basis of work but also on educational activity? The suggested revision of assessment criteria of paid and unpaid work of women, youth and pensioners is based on results of data analysis of 3 sources: data from representative surveys about living conditions of the population conducted in 1997-2001 at the Institute of Economics and IE SB RAS in Siberian region; data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS, 1996, 1998, 2000), and data of the empirical study on leadership of youth conducted in the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science in 2002.

 

 

SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE COMPONENTS OF AMATEUR ROCK MUSICIANS

Author(s): Elie Arnaud

The objective of this paper is to point out the subjective and objective components wich influence the emergence of career aspirations of amateur rock musicians, and, indirectly, the making of professionnal rock musician. Inspired by Pierre Bourdieu and by the interactionnist sociology of professional groups, this study is based manely on observations and in-depth interviews carried out with musicians and concerts organizers in a French city (Evreux 27000) in 2001-2002. From the perspective of a process of conversion and involvement, this study sets out to demonstrate that career aspirations in the professional field of rock depend, among other things, on strategies for recruitment and supervision by both amateur and professional concert halls, but also on the meaning that young musicians give to practising this music throughout their amateur musical career, as well as the representations they make of the occupation and of their career opportunities

 

 

THE FROM-SCHOOL-TO-WORK DYNAMICS. TIMING OF WORK AND QUALITY OF WORK IN ITALY, THE NETHERLANDS AND THE UNITED STATES, 1980-1998

Author(s): Fabrizio Bernardi, Markus Gangl and Herman van de Werfhorst

This paper studies the transition from school to work in Italy, the Netherlands and the US from a dynamic perspective. Two aspects of the school-to-work transition are simultaneously analysed: the duration of job search and the quality of the first job obtained. Thus, the aim of the paper is to investigate to what extent observed variations in returns to education (both in terms of quality and rapidity with which the first job is obtained) reflect institutional differences in the three countries. Our paper builds on other studies that have analysed the school-to-work transition and tries to enhance them in two ways. First, previous studies have mainly focused on institutional differences in the educational systems, and on how these differences affect labour supply (Allmendiger 1989; Müller, Shavit 1998). Here, we also consider the influence of the productive structure on labour demand (Regini 1999). In particular, we interpret our results taking into account two dimensions of labour demand: the overall amount of vacancies and the ratio of high/low qualified vacancies. The three countries included in this study have been chosen because of their differences in the institutional dimensions considered. The second added value of the paper is that we investigate the relationship between the duration of job search and the quality of its outcome. In order to address both aspects of transition processes, our statistical analyses combine event history and regression methods.

 

 

STUDENT JOBS, A MIRROR TO GENERATION RELATIONS?

Author(s): Flore Chappaz

If the sociological category of youth rises with the extension of the school years, the field of College students sounds appropriate to a sociological questioning on youth. Working on a Ph.D., we set our interest in College students in France and in particular to the jobs they hold during their studies. Our research centers on French Social Science majors studying in the University of Paris-10. The questionnaires and interviews completed invite us to envisage student jobs and their motivations not only in the economic sense (financial need, pocket money...). Indeed, they are also to understood in terms of social recognition accorded by the working status, and, as a revolt against the classical theoretical teachings of higher education. Student jobs seem, at least in part, to show a double movement of consensus and revolt towards the values of the generation that precedes them. Consensus, by their concern to be part of the labor market and ensure the ideal of social mobility transmitted by their families. But revolt as well, against the academic structures (sociability spaces, information diffusion...), and the teaching programs, lacking practicality, established by the former generations. Indeed, for some students, their jobs represent a field, that, unlike College, delivers a practical learning providing them self-satisfaction and social recognition. Consequently, student jobs would seem to lay stress upon some generation consensus and conflicts, expressing themselves more by action than by voice. What is at stake in student jobs? What are the different issues associated with the different types of students, older and younger, richer and poorer? Hence, the object will be to elaborate a typological classification of students holding a paid job, showing the significance of their job in terms of generation conflict and consensus.

 

 

AN OLD SCHOOL SUBCULTURE? GABBERCULTURE IN BELGIUM

Author(s): Frank Stevens

Some authors claim that the traditional notion of subculture, a coherent stylistic expression of resistance towards the capitalistic system by young people, has become an increasingly unworkable concept. In the 90?s, the youth culture of ?gabbers? evolved out of the dance scene in the Netherlands. This youth culture is characterized by a very specific and coherent code for dress, hairstyle, behaviour, social values, dancing and musical taste. Ten years later, this youth culture has spread to Belgium. In this paper, we want to examen the social background of young people who like the music and style of the gabberculture, their outlook on society, their tastes and social relations. Gabbers will be compared with youngsters who do not identify themselves with the style. This research is based on a survey among 13.000 secondary school students (16 to 18 years old) in the Flemish part of Belgium.

 

 

JUVENILE DELINQUENCY AND BROKEN HOME

Author(s): G. Torrente and A. Rodríguez

This paper is a portion of a wide study about the influence of family relationships on antisocial behavior development. In this case we analyse the influence of broken home processes. The sample was formed by 641 minors with ages between 11-17 (Mean=14,35; sd=1,53). From this sample we selected two groups: the first one (adapted group) was composed by 200 subjects who did not declare to commit illegal acts in the D scale (Antisocial-Delinquency Behavior, TEA, 1988); the second one (self-reported delinquency group) was composed by 174 subjects who declared to commit more than three illegal acts in the D scale. A third group was composed by 21 minors with ages between 15-17 (Mean=15,62; sd=0,8) submitted to judicial measures in internment centers. Our data indicate that the subjects of the third group differ from the adapted and self-reported groups in several variables related with broken homes; their parents did not live together in most of cases and therefore they did not! live with both parents but with their mothers or with relatives; they had more siblings. This group had also experienced more stepfamilies processes than the adapted and self-reported delinquency groups and with them lived other people than their parents and brothers and sisters (such as uncles and aunts, nephews and nieces or stepfathers and stepmothers).

 

 

 

NEW ROCK GENRES FOR YOUTH AS EXPRESSION OF REBELLION FOUNDED IN SOCIAL AND FAMILY CONFLICTS

Author(s): Germán Espino Sánchez

Traditional interpretation of Rock History points out that this genre was originally used by youth to trasgress cultural rules but then turned into a very useful political tool of comercialization and social control. We believe that creation of new rock genres for youth is the expression of rebellion founded in social and family conflicts, but mainly in libidum. Moreover, Freud considers that there is an essential conflict between the basic instincts of the individual (erotism, violence, will of power, etc.) and the society, which through a number of rules attempts to control the individual. Foucault suggests that polítical power in the twentieth century managed to soften moral control and even to promote sexual relations to achieve a higher political control. Castoriadis adds that victory of consuming society has built a social system with as much capacity as to institutionalise trasgressions, which endangers the essential plurality of Democracy. Nevertheless, we believe rock culture does not only help to institucionalize or trasgress, to comercialize or generate new cultural avant-gardes, for its complexity also brings out contradictions and unexpected effects. Besides, if societies have the necesity to reproduce traditions to keep their equilibrium, they also have the capacity to create new conditions to build a different society.

 

 

CHANGED REPRODUCTION OF INEQUALITIES IN YOUTH LIFE

Author(s): Gestur Gudmundsson

The paper explores an apparent paradox of modern youth life. The road of young people from education to a stable adult pathways is getting longer and more winding, at the same time as the outcome of this long journey seems to be increasingly predictable from social background. Why all these years of searching if the outcome is given? The paper is mainly based on qualitative material - interviews with 9 young individuals conducted in 1997-2001. It argues for a sociological concept of human capital as analytical tool to understand their long transition. It is partly based on a revised version of Bourdieu's theory of cultural capital focussing on the dialectics of 'use value' and 'exchange value' in the resources of youth in transition. Rapid modernisation demands an innovative conversion of these resources before they are meaningful for the individual and useful in economic and social life.

 

 

FRANCE AND 'ITS' DEBATE ON MULTICULTURALISM

Author(s): Goucem Redjimi

Is it possible for a society which is passionately embedded in a political culture and a way of thinking directed towards universalism, keeping together all its 'differences'? That is to say, Is it possible for such a society building up a project which would take into account all these differences? What could mean such a project? At last, what does makes sense, today, about the issue of 'differences'? In France, that question is focussed on the immigration issue, that is approached through the prism of security, migrants responsibility, social organisation crisis. And the whole issue is described as a risk brought about by the globalisation process. That sort of approach gives way to some sliding from class analysis to ethnic definition of these populations who, today, are strongly assimilated to the tentacular Islam and the terrorist activity. This topic, that holds an excessive position in the contemporary debates, is heavily meaningful. A similar feature can be found in several European countries. Everywhere in these countries, the stranger's figure crystallizes the same fears and the same questions, looking forward to genuine political processing. So, the possibility of launching a debate and of taking into account the 'cultural particularities' within the 'public space' and the political life, is regarded as a betrayal of national identity, a threat to the values of the state, a disaster for democracy. In France, specificity belongs to the private sphere and any attempt to express his/her difference must be contained and repressed. In such a context, the debate is made impossible with regards to possible tensions between communities, political divide and death of any democratic life. Politics cannot get rid of these populations by deleting them from the public life, even though it's the common way of dealing with. Then, it 's not surprising to observe the multiplication of the identities that, increasingly, claim for their recognition within the 'public space'. Turning them into devils and presenting them like the incarnation of the risk looks like the alternative solution. Then, is it necessary to lock one self in a logic 'private-public' and 'politic-culture'. How to away from a representation of the nation and of an hard line conception of the republic that, very often, forget the historical heritage? To what extent democratic conceptions can take into account such cultural identities. At last, in France, is the recognition of the public recognition of particular identities possible?

 

 

SCHEME PARTICIPATION AND EMPLOYMENT OUTCOME OF YOUNG UNEMPLOYED - EMPIRICAL FINDINGS FROM NINE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

Author(s): Hans Dietrich

In recent years active labour market policy measures have become an important policy instrument all over European countries. Specific programs for young people, such as the "New Deal" in UK, "Trace" or "emploi jeunes" in France or the "Jugendsofortprogramm" in Germany, were carried out, to reduce youth unemployment and to avoid long-term unemployment of young people. Based on a TSER-financed dataset (Youth unemployment and social exclusion in Europe, conducted by Torild Hammer, Oslo) the paper will analyse the effect of young unemployeds participation at labour market policy schemes on re-employment perspectives and income in nine European countries. Namely three question will be followed: 1: Labour market policy scheme experience among longer unemployed young people: Who joins labour market policy schemes in the different countries? How many times young longer unemployed have joined ALMP measures and how many time do this longer unemployed young people do spent within this measures. Empirical findings indicate that both repeated unemployment and repeated ALMP-measure participation depend on individual characteristics, on the country specific framework of the school-to work transition regime and the involved institutions and on the effect of situation specific factors like demography or business cycle. 2: Former scheme participation and re-employment perspectives: In how far former scheme participation of longer unemployed young people do affect the re-employment perspective of young people? Empirical findings indicate empirical weak but negative effects of former scheme participation under control of individual and country specific characteristics. 3. Scheme participation and income: In the case of re-employment a former scheme participation of young longer unemployed shows weak and ambiguous effects across the observed countries on the individual level.

 

 

"I WANT TO BE NEEDED" - CHILDREN IN WORKING LIFE

Author(s): Harriet Strandell

The deep contrast between childhood and adulthood characteristic of industrial society is giving way to a society, where distinctions between different kinds of activities are becoming less obvious and the boundaries between them blurred. Children cross borders and move to new areas in society - areas, where the division of activities and places into those of adults and those of children is subject to cultural negotiation. Taking part in paid employment typically represents these new tendencies. In this paper, the ambivalence in children's work is taken as a starting point for investigating work and working life as a place for children in contemporary Finnish/Western society. Based on interviews with school children aged 14-17 years, two related themes are discussed. Incentives for working, like being part of, being needed, not being left outside, doing something useful and being responsible, reveal, taken together, deeper and more complex motives for working than just earning some extra money for own consumption and for keeping up a youth life-style. They tell about the conditions for belonging to a society "owned" by adults. The "will to belong" makes the positive attitudes children have towards working understandable. When asked to compare school and paid employment, positive attributes like contractuality, negotiability and flexibility were attached to paid work. Somewhat paradoxically, the school was experienced as less free than the world of work - which adult society thinks children should be protected from. Some conclusions about the conditions for and problems in children's taking part in contemporary society are drawn in the paper.

 

 

CIVIC INVOLVEMENT OF THE REFLEXIVE GENERATION: INVOLVEMENT IN CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS OF YOUNG EUROPEANS AND ITS POLITICAL IMPACT SINCE THE 1980S

Author(s): Henk Vinken

The emerging tradition of civil society and social capital studies, studies that seem at the peak of popularity in today's social sciences, points at major weaknesses of contemporary communities and the way citizens, young citizens in particular, advance the common good. At the same time these studies have serious flaws themselves. Flaws that should be taken into account before drawing conclusions on declining civic virtues and civic engagement of younger generations. An important issue is the uncritical use of generational arguments in the alarming, specifically US-notions on the decline of civil society. This article argues that civil society studies should take variations in societal contexts, cultural traditions, and institutional arrangements into account and seriously focus at generational idiosyncrasies within these contexts. Building on survey data from the European Values Studies (EVS), gathered across Europe in three waves in 1981, 1990 and 1999-2000, this article furthermore empirically shows how nations and generations across Europe vary in civic engagement, social trust, political involvement, and political action.

 

 

FRAGMENTS OF GENERATIONAL IDENTITY

Author(s): Henna Mikkola

The focus on my paper is on how the generational identity is formed in discursive practices and how the attributes 'my generation' or 'our time' gain social validity on the basis of the experience of 'having been young together' and become general aspects of identification in discursive practice. My material consists of 87 texts sent to writing competition "Dream of my generation" organized by Finnish national broadcasting company and the Research Centre for Contemporary Culture in 1997 (total number of texts is over 4000). My perspective is that of literary anthropology: the focus is rather on the general cultural than the individual discourses so the fictionality/factuality of material does not play a grand role. What do people write about when writing about their generation? What kind of implications does the word "generation" have in the texts? What are the anchors of generational identity - historical events, popular culture (and what sorts of popular culture)? How is generational identity formed in discursive practices? Is generation a positive word like 'community' - and is it described as a community in the texts? And is the 'generation-talk' so closely related to the time of adolescence as Mannheim proposes? Is the time of "my generation" exclusively the time when "we were young", and if yes, why; how the youth is constructed in the texts? The study is empirical and my methods are content analysis and discourse analysis.

 

 

 

'EVERYDAY' BUT NOT 'NORMAL': UNDERSTANDING THE 'RECREATIONAL' USE OF HEROIN AMONG RUSSIAN YOUTH

Author(s): Hilary Pilkington

By the end of the 1990s sociological research in Russia indicated that drug use had become an 'everyday' phenomenon: around one third of 16-17 year olds had experimented at least once with drugs (Omel'chenko ed. 1999). These findings mirror those from the UK, which suggest that at the end of the 1990s 50-60% of 18 year olds had tried a drug (Parker, Aldridge and Measham, 1998). This led to the suggestion that during the 1990s 'subcultural' drug use became replaced by 'the normalization' of recreational drug use within mainstream youth culture. By the end of the 1990s, however, new heroin outbreaks in the UK had problematised the distinction between rational, less-addictive 'recreational' drug use and 'problem' drug use while in Russia heroin was second only to cannabis as the likely drug of experimentation; 47 per cent of 16-17 year old those reporting drugs experimentation in one regional study had tried heroin (Omel'chenko ed.1999). This paper draws on a collaborative and ongoing ESRC funded study into drug use and youth cultural practice in three regions of the Russian Federation (Krasnodar Krai, Samara oblast' and the Republic of Komi). It uses both quantitative and qualitative data collected in the course of the research to explore the degree to which heroin use has become 'everyday' and/or 'normal' among Russian youth. The paper focuses in particular on local drug use cultures (past and present), drugs markets and the social and cultural contexts of young people's experimentation with drugs to explore, and question, the apparently 'recreational' use of heroin among young Russians.

 

 

 

DRUG USE AS THE COMPONENT OF LATVIAN YOUTH ENTERTAINMENT CULTURE

Author(s): Ilze Koroleva

Since the independence (the beginning of 90ties) there has been stable growth of consumption of drugs and other psychoactive substances. The most endangered group is Latvian youth, as they don't realize that on the cost of their health and future the special youth-oriented market is being developed, which determines both the style and culture of entertainment. The wide outspread of drugs has also been promoted by certain youth culture - techno music and rave dancing as youth thinks that one can't stand the heavy rhythm without the use of stimulating substances. The fact that drugs are being divided in 'light' and 'heavy' ones, contributes to the courage and willingness of young people to try them out, and creates perception that drugs are not dangerous, don't create habit and therefore the consumer of drugs can control the situation. Many young people perceive 'weed' as having medical value. The society not only is becoming aware of the problem of drug abuse, but is getting used to that and becoming more tolerant and indifferent towards the drug abusers. Young people regard drugs as inseparable component of present youth culture (i.e. entertainment and club sub-culture). The analysis of drug use prevalence and the patterns of drug use, as well as motivation and factors that influence the consumption and inception, is based upon surveys data carried out by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology in the time period from 1999 - 2003.

 

 

THE SOCIAL PORTRAYAL OF YOUNG UKRAINIAN WOMAN: EMANCIPATION OR DOMESTIFICATION?

Author(s): Irina Predborska

The goal of my paper is to show the main tendencies characterizing the Ukrainian young women social portrayal during the period of reforms (1993-2002). The material is based on international survey "Transition to Adulthood in present-day Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia" (in the framework of INTAS Program) which was conducted in summer 2002. According to the research data, 56% of females have been unemployed at least for a month. They usually find themselves involved in a state sector and discard the possibility of being employed in trade or private service. Almost 86% of young females are not satisfied with their career opportunities. There are number of reasons to explain this situation, such as 1)educational background - 20% of respondents do not think their education corresponds to the present job; 2)predominance of manual job (31,7); 3)basically, impossibility for the young females to earn more than $50 (only 4% of them have monthly income $100 and more). Feminization of poverty is phenomenon of post-soviet Ukraine. The next tendency is the increasing growth of religiousness among young women and changes in the cultural preferences in favor of mass-culture productions. The majority of them demonstrate a high level of political passivity. But at the same time 1/3 of respondents are interested in politics and ready to fight in order to maintain the country's independence and support the market economy. Ukrainians, both men and women, are not enough emancipated and democratic in their private life. This fact is displayed through number of gender stereotypes(age to get marry, age to have sex, age to cohabit with a person of opposite sex, etc.). 56.4% of young women strongly believe that married women with children should stay at home as a full-time housewife. The data reflects the contradictions of transitional period and emphasizes a real need of state support for young Ukrainians (82%), especially for young females.

 

 

THE YOUTH OF RUSSIA: HEDONISM AND NIHILISM AS THE FORMS OF SOCIAL PRACTICE

Author(s): Irina Vasilieva

In the present-day Russia we can observe the removal of the social accents from the sphere of collective things to the sphere of personal interest. In the subculture of the youth this tendency is realized through the spreading of such social practices as hedonism and nihilism. In the structural aspect the cultural challenges that modern Russia faces are the same as the European cultural challenges (the counter-culture of the 1950-1960th). They are the challenges of post-modern. This is confirmed by the tendencies formed in the educational system in Russia. On the one hand there is considerable expanding of these sphere and on the other hand the higher education turns out to be either too thorough or too specialized for that job that society can offer the younger generation. The practices of hedonism and nihilism are the alternative forms of social adaptation. Hedonism is the life-stylish peculiarity of comparatively successful youth who at the same time cannot realize their aspirations to success in the professional sphere. Nihilism is the peculiarity of those social layers that cannot realize both their professional interests and their social pretensions. So they try to find themselves through the denial of the dominating standards of the social interaction. The considerable difference of the hedonism and nihilism in the modern Russian society is connected with the global crisis of identity that is provoked by the break in the social and cultural traditions.

 

 

TEENAGER CONSUMPTION OF ICTs (INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES) IN LEISURE SPACES

Author(s): Isabel Rivero, Adriana Gil-Juárez, Jöel Feliu, Samuel-Lajeunesse and Eva Gil

Increasing weakening of labor market as the traditional axis of identification in postindustrial societies, as well as the loss of traditional spaces of leisure in urban environments, directs our attention toward the practices of consumption as the axis in which new identities take form. The research we present is an ethnography of leisure spaces where teenagers of both genders consume ICTs and thereby produce new cultural forms with new politics of identity. The data we have gathered in the first phase of this research, through direct observation of cyber cafes in Barcelona, suggest that complex processes of interaction take place in these new leisure spaces. These convey to us a very different image of the one that depicts solitary teenagers isolated from their social context by means of "virtual" relations which substitute "real" relationships. On the contrary, teenagers we have seen on those places permanently try to relate to other teenagers physic! ally present on the same space, without giving away their virtual relations. This means that rather than having poorer relations these become more complex. New cultural forms emerge around the consumption of ICTs by adolescents in public spaces of the city.

 

 

 

GENDER SOCIALIZATION TROUGH GENERATIONS: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY ON ADOLESCENTS AND THEIR PARENTS

Author(s): Isabella Crespi

Socialization is the transmission of values and trough different generations. It firmly contributes to identity building process. This is true for gender identity and relations too. Beginning from this theoretical interest, my paper focuses on the results of an empirical research that involves 1500 adolescents and 20 parents and is interested in exploring the issue of gender socialization within family relations trough generations. - Gender representations of nowadays adolescents. I discover that this is a new generation of adolescents. They perceive gender difference in an innovative way, as a form of reflexive experience of their selves. At the same time they suffer influence from some persistent family and society stereotypes about gender differences. They are a new generation because they explore new ways of being gendered, inventing new paths of being male or female within the same gender line. -Family relations. Mother and father carries out different gender relations because are men and women. They also consider the gender of their sons. We can evidence solidarity and complicity between mother and daughter and between father and son. This questions the central role of mother in family relations. It is an assumption carried on by previous researches on family. These differences are very important for some relational aspects: communication, self-government and life style. -Gender socialization models: generations in comparison Socialization model has changed trough generations. Emerge important differences among generation of father and mother. First of all the idea of male and female in society is different. Secondly, the gender socialization is much more flexible today than yesterday. Thirdly, father and mother have the same role in educating sons, even if they adopt different socialization styles and strategies.

 

 

THE GROUPS OF SELF -MUTUAL AID AS THE METHOD OF SOCIAL WORK WITH THE TEENAGERS WITH DEVIANT BEHAVIOR

Author(s): Ivan Varnakov

The economic reforms, which have accompanied Russia's emergence as an independent state, have reintroduced the concept of the officially acknowledged unemployment, an increasing number of crimes, inflation, cultural crises, for the first time. At the same time, the price liberalization, which began the period of transition to a market economy in Russia, produced a massive drop in the living standards for many families. It's generally recognized that in this period children and teenagers were the major losers. As the result social deviation in youth environment became a usual phenomenon. Now in Russia there are more than 2,5 millions people aged from 7 to 18, who had never studied at school. Another sight is the increasing number of the teenagers who are on the file in the police department (because they had broken the law). During a few last years more and more teenagers became drug addicts, or left they families, or joined antisocial groups, or did something else that we usually call deviation. As we can guess the problems of the teenagers are very serious and we are to acknowledge that such rates of growing deviation among the young is really a threat to Russia's social structure. We are, all people are to acknowledge the serious of problem of violence. Today social work must base on the statement that not violence or threat of violence should prevail in the society, but more delicate ways of the harmonization the class and group interests. Our task as scientists is to understand what happens actually and then to analyze precisely the conceptual nature of processes that are taking place in the youth environment, their trends and dynamics using not only sociological but methods of other social sciences too. Now each society must answer on such questions as: "What should we do to save the young people and their future?" "What methods of such social institutes as school, law, social work and so on, should we use to control the deviance and to rehabilitate the teenagers with deviant behavior?" There are some approaches within the framework of organization of social work with the teenagers of deviant behavior. Experts tend to refuse passive methods of social work passing to active ones. One of versions of such work with the teenagers of deviant behavior is the creation of groups of self -mutual aid, and realization of employment directed to the preservation of a mental and physical health and rehabilitation of the teenager. Students of social work at Altai State University carry out studies in the groups. The participants of groups are the teenagers who are on the file in police department. Approximately the quantity of participants is no more then ten. The group of self -mutual aid assumes a long course of employment within a year (not less then 240 hours). In work with the teenagers they apply "game techniques" of an intensive training directed to the correction of the emotional sphere of the teenager that help them to transfer positive experience of a group for th! e real life. This course is focused on the internal resources and self -development on individual opportunities, abilities and interests of the teenager. The course includes three blocks, there is a training of constructive dialogue, training of personal growth, preparation of the teenagers for family life. The leader does not transfer knowledge and idea. He activates teenagers imagination: using various means of training and education of the teenagers (benefits, books, video, etc.); various kinds of a "feedback" in a group: interviews. Dialogs, discussions, joint group businesses; organizes creative art work in pairs, where senior children act as the advisors for the younger. It is necessary to recognize the significance of processes occurring in youth environment. And we are to acknowledge that the groups of self -mutual aid in Russia are considered one of the most effective method of social work with the given category.

 

 

WEAKENED BRIDGES? INDIRECT AND DIRECT EFFECTS OF DIVORCE ON GRANDPARENT-GRANDCHILD INVOLVEMENT

Author(s): J. Oppelaar

 

 

 

COULD A LOCAL IDENTITY CONNECTED TO A MARGINAL, DESERTING PLACE TURN TO BE A SOURCE OF IDENTITY CAPITAL? THE CASE OF RAUTAVAARA YOUTH

Author(s): Jaana Lähteenmaa

My paper focuses on the paradoxes of growing up and building one's identity in the deserting, economically very poor and deserting countryside of Northeast Finland. It is based on my ongoing research. It seems to be difficult, or at least very comlicated to attach one's locality into one's identity, if one can't be proud of his/her homeplace: if, for example, the homeplace is in the margins of the homecountry (and of the whole Europe),.and is at the same time poor and deserting. Rautavaara is this kind of place: it is the 4th poor parish of Finland. Thirty years ago it had five times as much inhabitants as now, and forestry - now totally mechanized - gave work for the people. Yet, according to my hypothesis, this kind of homeplace could be turned even into a part of young person's creativenes and identity-capital, if it would be actively - and maybe also collectively - worked out, for example through making cultural products and through participating in "citizen activism" concerning the homeplace. This question is one of the main topics which I am studying in Rautavaara. One of the more general questions in my ongoing research is also, what kind of of role the local identity has as a a part of young people's identity - in this globalizing world and culture. One question in my study is also, what kind of role the trust to the future has, when a young person is building his/her identity - this question is relevant in Rautavaara, where the young people don't seem to have any future. The theoretical backround of my research lies in mainly in sociological theories on identity (for ex. Hall) and the theory on identity capital (Cote & Levine). The material gathered in my research is a survey, qualitative interviews and essays written by Rautavaara youth. I have also rap-poetry made by some young boys in Rautavaara. I have also done participant observation in the brand-new "youth-council" of Rautavaara, in which young people themselves try to make the living conditions in Rautavaara better for the young people. The research and gathering the data is still going on.

 

 

FAMILIES IN FLUX: THE SOCIAL DEMOGRAPHY OF CHILDREN IN SWEDEN

Author(s): Jan O. Jonsson

Sweden is often seen one of the forerunners in new family forms, with a large share of cohabitations, many separations and also many family reconstitutions. This paper uses nationally representative data on direct interviews with Swedish 10-18-year-olds to describe their family structure, and to study their social relations with custodial parents, non-custodial parents, and step-parents. A historical view shows that there has been a sharp increase in the proportion living in a different household than one of their biological parents in cohorts born from the early 1960s to mid 1970s, and a flattening out of this increase after that. Around 30% of children born in the 1970s and onwards experience such separation (of which 25% depend on separation/divorce). More than 15% experience a step-parent and around 10% step-siblings. Many of the children to separated parents - around 40% of those between 10-18 - see their "absent" parent every week and many alter between living with their father and mother. However, around 23% never meet the absent parent, often the father. It is also worrying that children of divorce do not get on very well with parents (neither the custodial nor the non-custodial) and have even worse relations to step-parents. The paper concludes with an analysis showing that poor social relations are also negatively correlated with psychological well-being and educational outcomes, though the causal relation cannot be proven.

 

 

 

BELLEZA, CUERPO Y MEDIOS DE COMUNICACIÓN: SU INFLUENCIA EN LAS JÓVENES ESPAÑOLAS. UNA APROXIMACIÓN CUALITATIVA

Author(s): Joaquina Castillo Algarra and Marta Ruiz García

El ideal de belleza, el ciudado del cuerpo aparecen actualmente, para las jóvenes españolas, como valores sociales claramente reforzados por los medios de comunicación. En esta comunicación presentamos los resultados obtenidos en nuestra investigación, los cuales ponen de manifiesto las distintas formas de vivir los estereotipos que transmiten los medios en función de variables como la edad, la clase social, el nivel educativo, situación familiar, actividad laboral y tipo de hábitat. Igualmente hemos estudiado cómo, los mensajes de los medios, en relación con el cuerpo y la belleza, afectan a la vida cotidiana de las jóvenes, a su salud y a las relaciones con su entorno. Por último, analizamos la posible evolución futura de este fenómeno, que está viviendo la mujer, y las soluciones que, desde nuestro punto de vista, requiere esta problemática.

 

 

 

GENDER AND SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS 
Competence attainment among special needs students in Norway

Author(s): Jon Olav Myklebust

In most European countries education is the primary activity for young people. In Norway, for example, about 95 % of those leaving lower secondary school go directly to the next level. However, many of these students have functional difficulties that make their journey through upper secondary education rather complicated. Many students drop out, and large numbers fail to obtain formal vocational or academic qualifications. Their transitions to adult life may then be problematic. Special educational measures are taken to improve this situation. The main theme in this paper is whether girls and boys benefit equally from the extra support intended to help special needs students to succeed in upper secondary education. A crucial question is what type of placement is conducive to competence attainment - is it favourable to receive the special assistance in ordinary or special classes? The discussion of these topics is based on a longitudinal study of 600 special needs students from six Norwegian counties who entered upper secondary education in 1995. Information on these students has been collected once or twice a year until 2002. Their functional problems have been registered and their educational progress has been recorded. Transitions to adult life have also been examined, e.g. how these adolescents get access to paid work or establish personal relationships. The analyses are inspired by theories of transitions in the life course. This study is financed by the Research Council of Norway.

 

 

 

OLD AGE RESEARCH IN THE FIELD OF THE SOCIOLOGY OF AGE

Author(s): Jyrki Jyrkämä

Old age research occupied quite a marginal position in sociology, at least in Finland. It has been a separate research area mainly disconnected from other areas of life stage research, e.g. like from youth research. In my paper I discuss the emerging need to develop new age sociological approaches which connect different life stages to the same frame of references. This theoretical need is easily justified. One reason is the increasing use of life course approach in sociology and in other disciplines concerning ageing and old age. Another reason is the postmodern intertwining of life stages which makes I difficult to research and understand them without each others. The third main reason is the demographic ageing of societies which is reconstructing old structural and cultural age orders in every European society.

 

 

GLOBALIZATION, YOUTH AND CITIZENSHIP: EXPERIENCES FROM SINGAPORE

Author(s): K.C. Ho and Jeffrey Yip

The socio-cultural globalization, through the relentless creation of images, stories and news and its ever expanding diffusion of such information through a dense network of media agencies have created in youths an awareness and in many cases, a growing desire to experience external influences. Tourism on an international scale has been expanding, reinforcing inter-cultural contacts and feeding such desires. The economic globalization has worked in parallel with socio-cultural forces by providing opportunities for education and work for different population segments, from short-term contract labour to university students and highly-skilled professionals. Within this new framework, citizenship becomes an increasingly contested notion, as nation states, ethnic and place-based communities, compete to ensure the loyalties of its constituents. That ethnic communities themselves may be diasporic and that religious and other socio-cultural organizations are also transnational add to the complexity. This contestation is keenest when it involves youths, since it is this group which is most exposed of the forces of globalization and at the same time, community leaders understand that involvement from youths hold the key to the social reproduction of the respective communities. The purpose of our paper is to explore these contending forces in the lives of young people in Singapore, a globalizing city-state. Our paper explores Williamson's (2000) concept of active citizenship, understood as one in which citizens are not only members of a community, but also actively realize that membership through participation in various communal affairs. We will explore the discourse on youth and citizenship in Singapore and will also draw on a national survey sample of youths in Singapore to illustrate the dimensions of participation as well as qualitative data collected from a number of focus group sessions among different types of youth. We want not only to map out the diversity of participation but also its fluidity, exploring opportunities as well as motives in social participation among youths in Singapore.

 

 

THE IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION OF URBAN YOUTH GROUP: THE PIJOS OF MADRID

Author(s): Karine Tinat

After four decades of pro-Franco dictatorship, Spain experienced a real rebirth of cultural and urban styles during the 80s. These styles were connected to an explosive and festive movement : " La Movida ". This last reached its end eleven years ago. Nevertheless, nowadays a few urban tribes can be pointed out in Spanish society. Let's consider one of these called the pijos. This pejorative appellation which can be translated as " preppies " - young people who come from or who seem to come from the upper class - leads to many stereotypes and caricatures. According to the media, the main values of these young people are centred on brands, leisure activities and luxury goods. Taking into account produced data from fieldwork experience, this paper proposes to analyse the identity construction of this youth group in Madrid. For that, three aspects will be studied. The first one will be the territoriality : how is it organised and articulated by the group ?; do the pijos - such as any youth group - defend a part of the town ? Secondly, the pijos' ideological values will be considered. According to informants, the pijos of Madrid especially uphold pro-Franco values, but, what does the fieldwork reveal ? Finally, the narrative identity process will be examined. Indeed, how do these young people talk about themselves, from a verbal communication point of view as well as through an objectal perspective ? The combination of these three aspects will lead, on the one hand, to bring to the forefront a platform of values linked to this youth group - values which unquestionably belong to contemporary Spain - ; and, on the other hand, to synthesise the identity construction process of this youth group, thanks to a diagram entitled " the pijos' space of lifestyle ".

 

 

'PLAYBOYS OF THE WESTERN WORLD'? YOUTH, LEISURE AND SPORT IN THE AGE OF GLOBALISATION

Author(s): Ken Green

Against the backdrop of the so-called 'obesity epidemic' in the Western world, a broad consensus has emerged in recent years - in political, professional and media rhetoric -regarding the alleged role of sport and physical activity among young people. In Australia, the USA and the UK, for example, the promotion of active lifestyles in combating the ostensible 'crisis' of hypo-kinetic diseases - among young people in particular - has risen to the top of political and health agendas. This paper represents an attempt to rectify what is taken to be the relative failure of those advocating active lifestyles through sport and physical activity - as a vehicle for health promotion - to make use of a sociological perspective on leisure and youth cultures. It does so on the premise that any study of young people's propensity towards ongoing involvement in sport and physical activity needs to be viewed as an aspect of their lives 'in the round'. Grounded in recent sociological work on the changing nature of the transition from childhood to adulthood in the 'Western world' and the associated 'new condition' of youth (see, for example, Iacovou & Berthoud, 2001; Roberts, 1996, 1999; Vanreusel et al, 1997; Wyn, Tyler & Willis, 2002), the paper reports ongoing research into the place of sport and physical activity in young people's leisure lives. In doing so, the paper examines the implications of a preoccupation with sport as a vehicle for health promotion in the light of what we are coming to know about young people's lifestyles and leisure and sports participation patterns. The paper observes that contrary to the common-sense views of government, media and other interested parties, some European countries have experienced relatively high levels of adult sports participation (such as Finland and the UK) as well as higher youth retention rates in recent decades. Indeed, sports participation has, it seems, become part of present-day youth cultures in countries such as Finland and the UK. The paper points up the ways in which current medicalized strategies towards health promotion among young people fail to consider their sporting and leisure lives 'in the round'. In doing so, it is argued, they perpetuate a prescription for activity that ignore the lessons to be learned from sociological study of the increasingly diverse experiences and leisure styles associated with the changing nature of youth in the age of globalization. In conclusion, the paper points to more effective strategies for the promotion of active lifestyles among young people based upon the lessons to be learned from those societies in which youth retention rates are noticeably higher.

 

 

YOUTH TRANSITIONS IN EAST AND WEST UKRAINE*

Author(s): Ken Roberts et al

This paper is based mainly on evidence from 600 interviews during 2002 with 25-29 year olds, drawn in equal numbers from coalmining villages in East Ukraine and rural villages in the country's west. The analysis explains how basically the same 'reforms' have impacted differently on young (and older) people in these contrasting regions. The evidence also reveals how young people's responses to the changes have differed from place to place. This has been partly due to geography: proximity to or distance from richer countries has been important. However, in west Ukraine even economically unsuccessful young people usually become socially integrated via religion and village life, and, in some parts of the western regions, they usually become politically integrated via identification witb the region's dominant nationalist politics. In the east the situation is in some ways more quiescent and, at the same time, potentially more volatile. Young people in the country's east are less satisfied than their west Ukraine counterparts about the general course of the reforms, and they can envisage no acceptable futures for themselves in their own region. Yet there are no accessible and attractive routes out. At present these young people are less likely to be politically active than youth in the country's western regions, but this could easily change. In the east they are as yet inactive, but they are more likely to be organised in trade unions and to belong to political parties.

* The research on which this paper is based was supported by INTAS (award 000-20)

 

 

 

SLOVAK AND CZECH REPUBLIC: EUROPEAN IDENTITY AND YOUTH

Author(s): Ladislav Machacek

In terms of difference between Prague and Bratislava, the overall pattern of attitudes to European identity and citizenship is not clear-cut. Sociological research Youth and European Identity 2002 (Random samples: Prague N = 396 and Bratislava = 397 young people 18 - 24 years old. Target group: Prague N = 89 and Bratislava N = 98 young people 18-24 years old) bringt some evidence of a stronger sense of civic nationalism in Bratislava and Prague but, on the other hand, there are no clear signs of young people from both cities more definitely embracing European citizenship. Despite of the fact, that young people endorse more civic than ethnic conceptions of citizenship, the attitudes towards cultural and ethnic diversity in Bratislava random sample are not clear-cut. In terms of thinking of Europe, young people from Bratislava random sample are more likely than young people from Prague to include wider range of countries, also Russia and Turkey. The most important items in our participants' definition of what is Europe are ´certain values and traditions´ and political alliances - ´membership in the EU´. Our Bratislava and Prague samples have many contacts with Europe, because of their geographical position in heart of Europe. Only few participants have never travelled there and a large majority have visited several European countries. Being more enthusiastic for new independent Slovak and Czech Republics after 1993 does not necessarily translate itself into smaller enthusiasm about Europe and European Union. However, young people from Prague are slightly less enthusiastic about the processes of European integration than young people from Bratislava. Young people from Bratislava random sample think consider being future EU citizens (59,4%) as more important than young people from Prague random sample (43,9%). This reflects a moir general pattern of attitudes toward EU integration in the Czech Republic, as was shown by various recent representative surveys. The young people form the target groups in both cities feel more often about themselves as ´European citizens´ than young people from random samples.

 

 

YOUNG PEOPLE AND FAMILY DYNAMICS: RELATIONSHIPS AND SUPPORT NETWORKS IN EUROPE

Author(s): Lia Pappámikail

The lengthening of the youth phase that modern societies are experiencing the last few decades includes a prolonged stay at family home, especially in southern European countries. Moreover, with this prolonged stay, a growth of family 'duties'/'responsibilities'/'demands' changed the social and normative ground upon which relational systems are built. Although these changes are more evident in some contexts then others, one could think that this trend could, somehow, jeopardize the internal and external relational family 'traditional' balances, inducing to a higher level of conflicts inside the family home (or at least maintaining the so called generation gap), influencing at the same time the nature and quality of relationships between parents and their offspring. Researches infirm this hypothesis stressing the relative harmony that structures intergenerational relationships. The logic of affection that seems to rule contemporary family dynamics, as normative institutionalisation decreases, is fundamental to understand the distribution of inter generational supports. Based on the data from a survey applied in nine different European contexts ("Families and Transitions in Europe - FATE"), the paper will try to focus on family dynamics under two main interrelated conceptual axis: how the young people perceive their family relations, and evaluate the nature of some of those relations, on one hand; and the exploratory study of expressive dimensions of family life under their perspective, that is, the distribution of emotional and instrumental supports, namely the role of family and it's different members.

 

 

 

SOCIAL GENERATIONS, LIFE CHANCES AND WELFARE STATES

Author(s): Louis Chauvel

The cohort dynamics of the European welfare systems is the object of this paper. Coming back to the theory of generations (Mannheim, Ryder, Easterlin,etc.), I analyze here how the early experiences and constraints that new generations are facing when they enter adulthood, their opportunities and difficulties they experience, durably shape their life course and produce long term scars that will affect their further trajectory. In France, as in other European countries, seven strong generational fractures (economic stagnation, backward social mobility, decline of the social value of diplomas, decline in political participation, dyssocialization, etc.) characterize the situation of cohorts born after 1955 compared to previous ones. These fractures imply a durable problem of sustainability for European Welfare states. These new generations will endure the long term impact of these difficulties and could have to contribute to a welfare system of retirement and health that they will not be about to benefit from when they will grow older.

 

 

EUROPEAN IDENTITY?

Author(s): Lynn Jamieson

This paper places data from a survey of 18-24 year olds conducted in a number of European nations and regions, against theoretical discussions of 'identity', 'citizenship' and the possibilities of European citizenship identity. It draws on the European Commission funded project 'Orientations of Young Men and Women to Citizenship and European Identity' (http://www.ed.ac.uk/sociol/youth/index.html). In many circumstances and for many people, 'being European' is more likely to be an abstract categorising of self and/or others rather than a strongly felt sense of common identity and belonging. In reviewing theoretical discussion of 'identity', this paper reasserts the value of a social constructionist position that people have one self but many identities, some more 'primary' than others, reviewing the reasons why local identity is more likely to be 'primary' than European or national identity. Different national contexts offer access to different resources with which to build local, national and European identities and within one nation-state, not all have the same degrees of freedom to create identities. This paper looks for evidence of circumstances that encourage being a citizen of the European Union to move from membership of an abstract category to becoming an important aspect of sense of self. It reasserts the view that for European citizenship to be a more significant aspect of many people's personal identities, local circumstances and everyday social interactions would have to refer to and celebrate the European Union in a way that they typically do not at the moment.

 

 

 

SOCIOLOGIE DE LA JEUNESSE

Author(s): Magdalena Jarvin

Depuis ses débuts, la sociologie de la jeunesse s'est majoritairement intéressée à l'intégration des membres de cette catégorie d'âge à la société, les jeunes étant perçus comme des individus en transition entre deux statuts socialement délimités. Ces travaux se sont essentiellement attachés aux parcours individuels sur un axe public (passage des études au travail) et privé (émancipation de la famille d'origine et fondation d'une famille de procréation). En d'autres termes, ces études s'inscrivent dans une réflexion sur le changement d'identités statutaires, en concevant les individus à partir de rôles institutionnellement définis. La contribution que nous proposons ici, basée sur un travail empirique portant sur la sociabilité amicale nocturne, suggère une autre approche des jeunes. Ces pratiques favorisent en effet des interactions qui ne sont pas à fondement statutaire dans la mesure où la sociabilité, suite à la définition de G. Simmel, met en situation des individus en dehors d'un système de référence institutionnel. Cette approche, qui se situe à l'intersection des sphères publiques et privées, permet ainsi de penser autrement le bricolage identitaire qu'opèrent des " jeunes adultes " et ouvre une réflexion sur la primauté traditionnelle des identités statuaires dans le processus de construction identitaire.

 

 

THE WAYS TO ADULTHOOD'. THE EMANCIPATION PROCESS OF SPANISH YOUTH

Author(s): Manuel Fernández Esquinas and Begoña Buiza Camacho

Youth has generally been considered a transitional stage towards adult life; a time of change to acquire the necessary elements that constitute an autonomous lifestyle independent of the family of origin. This period of life has included people between the ages of 15 and 30. Social changes occurring in recent years, however, have meant that the transition continues to a much later age, with an important sector of both young people and adults living in situations of dependency. Faced with this new phenomenon, it has been suggested that youth cannot be defined so much as by what they lack, but rather as a social category unto itself with alternative forms of social integration. Based on an empirical study which has focused on youth as a period of transition, this paper aims to study Spanish youth in regard to the emancipation process and analyses the causes of this process, establishing to what extent these forms of social integration correspond to traditional or alternative w! ays.

 

 

 

LES CULTURES DE L'ENFANCE AUX CARREFOURS DE LA 2ème MODERNITÉ

Author(s): Manuel Jacinto Sarmento

Les temps contemporains intègrent, dans les différents changements sociaux qui les caractérisent, la réinstitutionnalisation de l'enfance. Les idées et les représentations sociales sur les enfants, tout comme leurs conditions d'existence, souffrent à l'heure actuelle des transformations significatives, en équivalence avec les changements qui ont lieu au niveau de la structuration de l'espace-temps des vies quotidiennes, dans la structure familiale, à l'école, dans les mass media et dans l'espace public. Contrairement à la proclamée " mort de l'enfance ", ce que la contemporanéité produit c'est la pluralisation des manières d'être enfant, l'hétérogénéité de l'enfance en tant que catégorie sociale générationnelle et l'investissement des enfants revêtus de nouveaux rôles et statuts sociaux. Le processus de réinstitutionnalisation de l'enfance s'exprime et se révèle sur les plans structurel et symbolique. De cette façon, les cultures de l'enfance sont également objet de pluralisme et de différentiation. Cependant, les marques distinctives des cultures de l'enfance résident dans leur propre grammaire. L'analyse de la morphologie, de la syntaxe et de la sémantique des cultures de l'enfance dans la 2ème modernité constitue un objet central pour la compréhension des changements structurels contemporains. Connaître nos enfants est un défi de la Sociologie de l'Enfance décisif pour la révélation de la société, en tant qu'un tout, dans ses contradictions et complexité. Mais c'est aussi la condition nécessaire pour la construction de politiques intégrées pour l'enfance, capables de renforcer et garantir les droits des enfants et leur pleine insertion dans la citoyenneté active.

 

 

SINGLES - CHOICE, MISHAP OR NECESSITY? MOTIVES AND LIVE STRATEGIES OF SINGLES IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

Author(s): Marcel Tomášek

Following the sea change of 1989, the life strategies in CEE have undergone tremendous variation. Within a matter of few years non-traditional models of family behavior have made a great breakthrough in the Czech society. New forms of self-fulfillment after 1989 led to locally relatively new phenomenon - "singles". The project maps these phenomena in the Czech Republic - uncovers usual motivations, rationalizations and characteristic life strategies and attempts to define the basic typology of involved actors. The key question in view of this typology is to which extent acting of singles in the Czech Republic involves planned life strategies and to what degree their conduct is incidentally produced or comes as reaction to the fast changing Czech transition context and is just a wait for appropriate moment to start traditional partnership and family relationship. The question - if the diversified positions of singles in this view are gender specific - comes to forefront. Paper is based on currently conducted qualitative inquiry in the frame of larger research on Children, Youth and Family in the Time of Transition realized by the School of Social Studies (Masaryk U., Brno). Inquiry covers young people living alone (live on their own and reached economic independence) in the age group between 25 and 30.

 

 

AGING SOCIETIES AND THE CHANGING STATUS OF YOUTH: INTERCONNECTIONS

Author(s): Margaret Adsett

Youth is a transition group with chronological boundaries that vary across cultural space and historical time. Over the past few decades, the upper boundary of this social group has been expanding in most Western democracies. If the age of attaining adulthood can be defined in traditional ways (e.g. average age at the birth of first child), that age is now approaching the historical European maximum of 30. Sociologists have largely ignored the potential links between this upward shift and the aging of the societies in which these shifts have occurred. Pensions, health care and fiscal frugality have become the social priorities of aging electorates, pushing to the side lines priorities that the more youthful electorates of the 1960s and 1970s supported to facilitate youth's transition to adulthood (e.g. unemployment, housing and higher education). Consequently, the transition of today's youth is not as sheltered from market forces and more subject to family fortunes than w! as the transition of their parents' generation. The end result is a more difficult and disorderly transition, for which youth's prolongation is a symptom and their demographically induced political marginalisation, both a cause and consequence. Regarding the latter, youth's marginalisation is manifesting itself in the form of declining voter turnout rates in many Western democracies. The purpose of this study is to empirically map the interconnections between the changing status of youth in Europe and North America and the aging of these societies.

 

 

YOUNG PEOPLE'S SOCIAL TRAJECTORIES PORTRAIT, CONSIDERING THE TRANSITION BETWEEN SCHOOL AND THE LABOUR WORLD

Author(s): Maria Sidalina Almeida

Considering young people that had professional training courses, we intend to focus this statement mainly on the understanding on their social trajectories construction processes. Towards the characteristics'identification of different young people's positions during their social trajectories, we intend to know the elements' multiplicity and complexity that, when interdependent, are present on their social trajectories' construction. More important than seizing the "variable languages" which exempts factors and social marks, we think it is important to describe the social trajectories' construction processes. This means to know "always specific combinations of pertinent general marks" (Lahire, 1997)present on them. When confronting young people with low instruction levels it's not our intention, in the mechanical action basis of class belonging and the instructions levels acquired, to consider them as an homogeneous category which has compulsorily social trajectories with the same configuration and profiles. As we do not consider this young people as a homogeneous group, it is our goal to identify the young people's different trajectories on the transition between school and the labour world. We consider them as a result of a process built by several factors, defined on their interdependent relationships, identifying the "marks that cross themselves in the range of specific interdependencies" (Nicole-Drancourt, 1994), outlining the social trajectories.

 

 

THE ROLE OF BASIC SKILLS IN THE EXTENDED TRANSITIONS OF YOUNG PEOPLE

Author(s): Mark Cieslik

This paper examines the role of basic skills competencies (such as numeracy and literacy) in the structuring of the extended transitions of young people. Although much research has documented the extension of transitions to adulthood and the growing significance of education and training (for example lifelong learning) to these processes very few researchers have examined the significance of basic skills to the structuring of 'marginal' and more 'successful' forms of transition. This is all the more surprising given the many millions of young people in European countries who lack functional literacy and numeracy skills. Recent surveys have suggested that up to 10% of young adults in many European countries and over 20% in the UK suffer from some form of basic skill deficiency. Moreover such skill deficiencies in young people are very worrying given the growing importance of educational credentials and skill development in the knowledge economies of western societies. This paper documents the preliminary findings from a qualitative research project conducted in Great Britain that explored the dialectical relationship between basic skills competencies and types of transition made by a sample of young people aged between 20 and 30 years of age. The initial findings suggest that the lack of basic skills have a profound impact on the quality of life of young people and also influences the sorts of education-to-work, housing and relationship transitions they make as they grow older. Moreover the experience of marginality (such as unemployment) can itself influence the basic skills competencies of young people which then in turn can further influence the transition experiences of individuals. The paper concludes with discussion of the sorts of policies which could improve the basic skills of young people and with it promote greater social inclusion in the informational societies of the twenty-first century.

 

 

 

MATING AND FERTILITY IN MADRID AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY, SPAIN

Author(s): Miguel Requena and Leire Salazar

The main objective of this paper is to develop a systematic analysis of the link between assortative mating and fertility in Madrid Autonomous Community. Our main hypothesis is that the recent fall in women's fertility can be explained, to a great extent, by constraints related to the formation of marriages and/or couples in the region. This phenomenon is very closely linked to the difficulties that younger generations encounter when trying to enter adulthood. There are three research questions that the paper addresses: 1. How have changes in the mating levels and patterns of men and women in Madrid affected their fertility? 2. How have recent transformations of the family structures -increasing dependency of young people, delaying couple formation, increasing cohabitation- contributed to the changes in the fertility behaviour in Madrid Autonomous Community? 3. Which are the main socioeconomic factors that have fostered the creation of new couples, thus creating new reproductive family units? Put it another way, what types of marriages and couples are more likely to have children in the framework of current regime of very low fertility? The type and structure of couples have changed dramatically in Madrid. The rate of marriage has decreased whereas cohabitation has alternatively increased, with a result in terms of fertility such that, in 2000, one in five births had taken place out of wedlock. Moreover, dual-earner couples are becoming more common relative to traditional male breadwinner families. As a consequence of these fundamental changes, a threefold analysis is required: a) substituting the strict concept of marriage for the broader of mating, and assessing its impact on fertility; b) decomposing fertility indexes taking into account different types of couples, and c) evaluating the implications in terms of fertility of changes in the resource structure of the new couples. We address these questions through a quantitative methodology, using data from the Movimiento Natural de la Población, Censo de Población and Padrón Municipal de Habitantes.

 

 

LIVING APART TOGETHER - A NEW ORIENTATION TOWARDS FAMILY

Author(s): Mirjana Ule and Metka Kuhar

Recent developments that introduced changes into life courses and transition into adulthood and created more opportunity to choose life courses, as well as changed relations between the public and the private spheres and the process of individualization, changed substantially the notion of young family. In Slovenia is strengthening the 'living apart together' (LAP) form of partnership. Young people prolong the starting of a family in theirs thirties. They like to combine aloneness and occasional, non-formal kinds of partnership. The once sociologically, methodologically and statistically definable concept that could be applied to a specific age group and generation has turned into a vague notion that is virtually impossible to define. The study "Economic and Social Position of Young Families in Slovenia" looks into the circumstances surrounding the starting of a family. The analysis comprised both subjective aspects (values), that is to say, the desired ways of life expressed by young people and the place of the family in their plans for the future, as well as the objective possibilities for the starting of a family and problems and obstacles accompanying this process. In the first stage of the study, we analyzed quantitative data obtained through public opinion surveys on the attitude towards family planning and problems arising from the decision to start a family and have children. The resulting picture was quite stereotypical: family is highly ranked by young people in Slovenia, they express wish to start a family and have children and do not display any attitude that can be understood as unfavorable to the level of birth rate. However, since these findings stand in sharp contrast to demographic indicators i.e. low birth rate in Slovenia, in the next stage we employed subtler, qualitative research methods - focus groups and interviews - seeking to find a better explanation of the discrepancy between the public opinion and the actual state. The analysis showed that, in the opinion of interviewees, LAP, late start with the parenthood and low birth rate could be attributed mainly to economic reasons, higher quality of life, new risks and uncertainty, individualization of life styles, and huge and exacting responsibilities arising from parenthood. The interviews also revealed that on average young families with children are deprived economically in comparison with other groups. The research also explicitly confirmed that young people in Slovenia have high norms as regards responsibilities of parenthood.

 

 

POLISH YOUTH HELPLESSNESS AS A RAPID SYSTEMIC CHANGE RESULT?

Author(s): Monika Kwiecinska

The social background Polish youth builds its adult identity in is more then ever before the reality of change, euphamistically called economic transformation. There appear new lines deviding youth into new categories - the lines are drawn by tensions experienced when trying to adopt to this reality. There are groups of youth, like rural youth, that more often then their pears can be characterised as disoriented, uncertain of their future, lacking the ability to anticipate it and helpless towards it. On the basis of the empirical data gathered in the longitudinal study of the 15 and 18 year old students of secondary schools of Torun; (central Poland) I try to describe life strategies of young people. Special interest of this paper is the dimension of activity (subjectivity and social independence) vs. passiveness (objectivity). What are the strategies characteristic for some specific groups (e.g. rural youth in comaprison with their urban pears)? What are the sources of such attitudes and strategies? Could one of such sources be the position of social groups, young people come from, in the new social and economic reality of Poland? Are there groups of youth that are already fated to be marginalized and to be losers of the systemic change?

 

 

TRANSITION TO WORK: DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES BETWEEN WORKING CLASS ADULTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Author(s): Natália Alves

During the last decades the transition from school to work suffered great changes. Due to the increase of compulsory education, the changes in the employment structure and the industrial relations flexibilization, the transition to work lost its linearity and became more and more complex. In this paper we present the results of a research based on a comparative analysis of the transition to work between working class adults and young people. This analysis includes two different approaches. The first one is based on structural indicators and allows us to identify the differences and the similarities of their transition to work. The second one focuses on the symbolic dimension of work and allows us to compare their orientations towards work. In order to accomplish these goals sixty persons (30 adults and 30 youngsters) were interviewed. We will show that the changes in the transition to work are followed by different orientations towards work. In this sense we don't support the idea that work lost its centrality in young people's lives but we can state that they have a more critical attitude towards work than the adults.

 

 

FLUID DISTANCE BETWEEN YOUTH AND ADULTHOOD AS PHENOMENON OF SOCIAL MATRIX OF AGES IN TRANSFORMATIONAL SOCIETY

Author(s): Natalia Vesselkova

As a specific kind of social projection, every age reflects needs of ruling class (Igor Kon) and current social transformations. That is why there is no a set of ages, rather social matrix of ages, relevant for concrete historical period. The matrix includes bundle of social meanings of every age and relationship between age niches. Normally it is quite rigid, but today matrix of ages becomes sensitive to ongoing transformations. Therefor the matrix is indicative for deep social changes in general and especially for doing age. Now I examine the only part of the matrix - youth / adulthood from the perspective of young people. I use data of research project "Strategies of becoming adults and factor of education" (Ekaterinburg, 2002-2003), gathered by means of mini-essays, semi-formal interviews and group discussions among students of secondary schools and universities of 15-19 age. Phenomenon of fluid youth / adulthood distance consists in conjunction of exaggerated and cut down modes of the distance. Exaggerated distance is explicated by 4 items: twofold constructing of "intergenerational contract"; unattractive image of adult life; soviet "old times"; specific role of the future. At the same time we observe contradictory tendency to cutting the distance down to closing youth and adulthood. Young people try to jump over uncertain period of becoming adults. Moreover, they are forced to join adult life as soon as possible by economical and cultural reasons. What do fluid distance fraught with?

 

 

 

PROTECTION OF THE YOUTH FROM DRUGS AS ONE OF IMPORTANT DIRECTIONS OF SOCIAL WORK IN XXI CENTURY

Author(s): Oksana Noyanzina

In the end of XX - beginning XXI century a problem of narcotism and sexual violence among youth arose rather evident. Acuteness of the given work is conditioned by the existing situation in Russian social, cultural and economic life. In Russia there are no any specialized federal social programs on elimination sexual violence and youth narcotism. Our work is an effort to create such program at regional level. Our interest to adolescents is conditioned from the one side by peculiarities of psychical development at adolescent age and by the difficulties in socialization from the other. Change of group attributes and transition from child community to adult one are the reasons of instability in adolescent's behavior. It is explained by rapid development of the leading personal characteristics (intelligence, world outlook, moral development, values and norms, interests, needs, emotions, character, possibilities) accompanied and complicated by strong physiological changes connected with sexual development. Teenagers are estranged from adults (parents, teachers). The authority of the group of persons of the same age arises. That is why it is necessary to conduct social and psychological work with adolescents and their groups, to accompany them in their socialization and provide all kinds of help for them. In Russian there is a lack of prevention measures against drug abuse among adolescents. Rehabilitation work with form er drug addicts is especially needed. Adolescents - former drug addicts need in social nurses to accompany them in their inclusion into group, to provide their fast and valuable acclimatization and communication. Special programs directed on education concerning sexual culture and sexual behavior are necessary too. It is evident that the mentioned problems came to the XXI century from the XXth, got a wide expansion and cover large groups of adolescents. All these require for new technologies of help and work of representatives of many specialties in a lot of countries.

 

 

 

FROM THE SOVIET TO A POST-SOVIET COUNTRY: HOW CHILDREN' DREAMS REFLECT A SOCIETY?

Author(s): Olga Filippova

The paper presents the results of the research of the "world of childhood" from the inside, looking at it through "children's eyes", and investigating children popular culture and dreams (day-dreams) of three generations, whose socialization at the age of 10 to 12 occurred under different conditions of the ideological and value systems of the society. Within the research biographical method, interviews and observations have been used. The research has been conducted in the city of Kharkiv (Eastern Ukraine) in 2001-2002. The first generation is today's adults (32-34 years old) who were within 10 to 12 age group in 1980-1984 and lived in the Soviet society where the Soviet ideology and value system predominated in all spheres of social life, including "childhood". The second generation is today's young men and women (20-22 years old) who were within 10 to 12 age group in 1990-1994 and lived in the appeared new country - Ukraine, in a society, which could be characterized with the collapse and rejection of the Soviet ideology and value system and search for new orientation in social life. The third generation is today's children of 10 to 12 years of age living in the independent Ukrainian state. The Soviet ideology and value system is almost fully destroyed, but the new value system is forming right now while the ideology and final targets of the social transformations have not been well -defined as yet. As the results of the research show the general tendency among the children of the Soviet generation was the "ideologization" of consciousness, ideas of "collectivism" and stable interrelation between the personal and social needs in the form of society-oriented dreams. Elements of ambivalence are typical for the second generation. Here, both the collectivism consciousness and a trend to individualism are present. The third generation displays well noticeable individualization and pragmatism trends. The ties between personal and social needs are poor.

 

 

VALUES OF YOUTH IN RUSSIA DURING STRUCTURAL CHANGES

Author(s): Olga Pronina

In the process of investigations in five regions of Russia the group of researchers "Education and Person " has obtained the following results: The values of the youth and teenagers now in the greater degree, than earlier are created by mass-media and friends. In consciousness of a teenager to be the person means to have a flat, wages, a permanent job, to be rich and famous, to have the purpose and to achieve it (by the way, not so important, what ways are used). Answering the question "what means to be the citizen of the country presently", approximately in 60 % of cases the answers were "I do not know " and " I am at a loss to answer ". The position of a family man and a parent is required both in the society, and in the mind of teenagers asked. It is noted that a good family man and a parent have the responsibility for the future of a family and children. However, useful realization of the parentage seems to be doubtful for the young people. The image a successful worker for youth and teenagers is greatly connected with finishing from the institute and with the work on the selected profession. However there is a fear of unemployment. The majority of the young people asked consider that the values of youth and teenagers were strongly transformed for the last years: became less spiritual, more pragmatic.

 

 

 

REGIONAL ASPECT OF PROFESSIONAL CAREER OF THE MODERN RUSSIAN YOUTH

Author(s): Olga Urzha

Investigating the processes of adaptation of various social groups to the contemporary social and economic situation in modern Russia is worth consideration. The youth and especially young people who left school in 1991 are of the particular interest. They were brought up among soviet standards and values, but started their independent life in the new country with different norms. Insufficiency of consideration given to the social and economic reforms in Russia has led to serious deformations of the social structure. The economic crisis, closing of many plants and scientific research institutes caused the loss of prestige of engineering professions. Vacancies in the budget, i. e. state sphere became unpopular because of low salaries. Numerous social groups found themselves unemployed. According to the standard of living up to 80% of people are below the level of poverty. According to this problem the sociological research was done in 2000, the author participating in it. The research covered three regions of Russia giving representative view of real situation. As a result the course of life of 25 year-old people, their professional mobility, standards of living reached, dependence of this indices on education, gender, social status of parents and their own family status have been revealed. The research showed dynamics of attitude and trust to different kinds of property among young people choosing place of work, displayed their willingness and ability to risk in this situation. Studying various regional scopes revealed the difference in behaviour and mentality of youth in big and medium-size cities, in the central part of Russia and in provinces. The research gave possibility to estimate the advantages of young people speaking foreign languages, familiar with computer technologies. It showed the attitude of modern youth to the matters of getting married, having a family and other traditional values. It also discovered a lot of unsettled questions and problems. The report contains results of the research, general tendencies and trends revealed.

 

 

 

THE POWER OF NATURE AND PLACE IN MODERN IDENTITY PROJECTS

Author(s): Olve Krange

The paper explores the significance of nature and place as elements in young people's identity forming projects, based on a study conducted in two communities in Østerdalen, Norway. The two study localities are situated in a mountainous forest area. Informants from different youth groups were interviewed about their conceptions and attitudes toward nature, their actual use of their natural surroundings, their feelings for their 'home-place' and what role nature plays in their construction of 'home-place'. The findings are assessed in relation to the body of theories where contemporary society is labelled post-, late-, high-or fluid modernity - a set of theories which implies that identities that are heavily attached to any locality are not only outdated, but leave those who carry them in danger of marginalization. Our interpretation is that several of these youngsters are in the process of forming identities that are deeply imbedded in local! ways and traditions, and that local nature plays an important part. However, this does not seem to make them less flexible or more immobile (neither socially nor spatially) than their peers whose identities and lifestyles are strongly influenced by globalized urban youth cultures.

 

 

 

VIRTUAL FORUMS OF FOR YOUTH AND E-DEMOCRACY - A R&D PROJECT ON USER-ORIENTED, MULTIMEDIA INFORMATION ENVIRONMENT

Author(s): Outi Caven and Kari Heikkinen

As the public sector is undergoing modernization supported by new technologies, the information society is expanding into a global village; this expansion is largely defined by the business sector. Growing in a land of high technology, the youth are increasingly searching for content and meaning for their lives from the virtual worlds of global brand names. The commercially produced world of colours and music tickles the senses, becoming strongly attractive to an adolescent in search of experiences. The project studies and develops content and new technology as well as new utilization methods. Using the latest technology, we create a forum of digital public services and social activities that interest youth. Our aim is to develop an interesting and usable intelligent environment, which gives youth a chance to participate in society without compromising their adolescent need to rebel against it. Available through schools and homes, the environment will serve as a virtual activity forum for the young community member. Digital environments are characterized by the multiplication of content in different environments. In the near future, the number of immersive and senso-motoric three-dimensional interfaces in homes and workplaces will increase greatly and create the need to study the usability of digital environments and the services embedded in them. The project is based on the idea that as intelligent solutions and environments increasingly become a part of our world, they will touch all citizens and they will be specifically oriented towards different users and user groups.

 

 

THE SOCIAL SEPARATION OF OLD AND YOUNG: DOES IT MATTER?

Author(s): P. Uhlenberg and G. Hagestad

 

 

 

DECONSTRUCTING YOUTH VIOLENCE: CRISIS, CONFLICT AND IDENTITY IN A TRANSITIONAL SOCIETY

Author(s): Paola Rebughini

In front of the challenges of multiculturalism, ethnocentricity, economic globalisation and growing unemployment, the issue of youth violence is usually considered as the result of the "crisis" of previous social patterns. The aim of this paper is to deal with the concept of youth violence as an interpretative key for the whole social change, as well as a challenge-concept to build new interpretations and theories of youth deviance. We are not interested in the youth violent behaviour but in the social interpretations of its means. How do young people interpret violence - not only their violence - in the present society? How do the concept of violence became an interpretative tool to explain the problems of our transitional society? By the deconstruction of the means of youth violence it is possible to analyse how social change is living by young people. Hence we could discover that the means of youth violence, in the present society, are not limited to the boundaries of the functional idea of "crisis" and they touch the issue of conflict as well as the issue of difference and identity recognition.

 

 

WHO AM I? BEING AND BECOMING

Author(s): Pat O'Connor and Amanda Haynes

This paper is concerned with young people's narratives of identity. It is based on material provided by a national sample of young people aged 10-12 years and 14-17 years who were invited to write a single page about themselves and their ideas about the future as part of the national Millennium celebrations. Approximately 34,000 young people did so within a school context and the paper is based on a quantitative and qualitative content analysis of a stratified random sample of 4,100 of these texts. The paper explores narratives of identity at three levels: at the level of positional identity; at the level of life styles and preferences and at the level of becoming- either in terms of occupational positions or in terms of identity as a subjective achievement. It suggests that firstly with the exception of age, these young people's narratives rarely focused on positional identities. Secondly, they involved gender and age related life styles and preferences- arguably reflecting a kind of decentered identity that is often seen as characteristic of a post moden world (Bauman, 1997). Thirdly narratives of becoming for the younger children typically involved occupational positions whereas for the older group, identity was depicted as very much a subjective achievement (Thomson, 2002). The implications of these patterns for our understanding of young people in contemporary society will be explored.

 

 

LEAVING HOME AND ACTIVITY STATUS IN THE 1990S: AN ANALYSIS BASED ON THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY HOUSEHOLD PANEL

Author(s): Pau Baizán

In this paper I analyze the household formation of young men and women in the second half of the 1990s. I use extensive empirical data from the European Community Household Panel Survey, providing a large-scale comparison for 15 European countries. The focus of the paper is on young people's household formation, and on its relationship with their activity status (i.e. their labor market status and educational status). This analysis provides some key indicators of the process of acquiring autonomy and economic security during youth. As far as these dimensions are concerned, Europe appears to be extremely heterogeneous, and the differences existing between countries appear to have widened considerably in the last two decades.

 

 

EDUCATION ATTAINMENT AS AN EXPLANATION TO DIFFERENCES IN PARTNERSHIP STATUS AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE ACROSS THE EUROPEAN UNION

Author(s): Pau Miret-Gamundi

Using the European Union Household Panel (EUHP) as a source of data (waves 1994 to 1999), we will compare the partnership situations for young people aged 17 to 35 years across countries. Controlling by age, sex and year of observation, using educational attainment as main explanatory variable and activity status as an instrumental variable for symmetrical versus asymmetrical gender roles, we expect to test both the neo-classic microeconomic hypothesis and the institutional hypothesis. According to the first hypothesis, increased female education led to more female economic autonomy and, consequently, to a higher cost associated with entry into a union and, as an overall result, to lower partnership rates. The second hypothesis states that educational attainment acts as a negative factor for partnership formation just in these countries or regions whose specific cultural traits had not gender equality well established in social institutions as the labour marked.

 

 

THE YOUNG ITALIAN: ONESELF WITHOUT ANOTHER

Author(s): Pierluca Birindelli

The analysis of 50 autobiographies written by Italian young people (age 21-25) depicts the absence of their engagement in the public sphere. There is no sign of participation in any kind of associations, beside sport clubs. The "classical" representation of young people more reluctant to bind themselves to organised communities, moving in a "free space" (with a consumer attitude?), between various youth scenes and institutions, in this case, has become a fragile explanation of what, in general, can be called the "Biographical Removal of the Other". According to Paul Ricoeur, selfhood implies otherness to such an extent that selfhood and otherness cannot be separated. The self implies a relation between the same and the other. Reading these biographies, the sense of the other is not going far away from family, friends, and sentimental relationships. The overdeveloped emotional self seems to crush down the ethical, moral self.

 

 

"I DON'T THINK AGE MATTERS, DOES IT? WE'VE ALL GOT THE INNER CHILD IN US!": THE CONSTRUCTION OF 'AGE DIFFERENCE' AND THE IMPACT OF AGE-MIXING WITHIN UNITED KINGDOM FURTHER EDUCATION COLLEGES

Author(s): Rachel Brooks

 

 


'COSMOPOLITANS' AND 'LOCALS'?: MOBILITY AS A RESOURCE IN THE TRANSITION TO ADULTHOOD

Author(s): Rachel Thomson and Rebecca Taylor

'Travel is intimately bound up with an increasing reflexivity about the physical and social world' (Urry 1995:141). The distinctive yet related subject positions that operate within this changing time/space landscape have been described variously as the vagabond and the tourist (Bauman), the cosmopolitan, local and exile (Hannerz). Mobility has also been recognised as a significant aspect of the transition to adulthood, with consequences for processes of production and reproduction of inequality. Jones (1999), for example, distinguishes between the biographies of 'stayers' and 'leavers' in a study of young people living in the Scottish border country, drawing attention to the part played by mobility in the transmission of cultural capital over generations. In this paper we explore the part played by physical mobility as a resource in transitions to adulthood experienced by young people in the UK. The paper draws on a longitudinal qualitative study, Inventing Adulthoods, which documents the process of transition among approximately 100 young people growing up in contrasting locations in the UK over a seven year period. In the paper we focus on a number of case studies where physical mobility (in the form of travel or migration) is an important feature of young people's actual and imagined communities and futures. We employ categories of the 'local' and the 'cosmopolitan' in order to see mobility operating as a resource in different biographies, examining variations related to location, gender, ethnicity and social class. We explore the extent to which mobility and its absence, may be central features in the production of new forms of inequalities in a late modern society.

 

 

CONSTRUCTIONS OF MULTIPLE SOCIAL IDENTITIES AMONG CHILDREN IN A DAY-CARE CENTRE CONTEXT

Author(s): Randi Dyblie Nilsen

In the writings of social studies of childhood, concerns are mainly connected to a non-gendered notion of childhood and 'the child' as a social category. Contrastingly, gender studies insist on notions of gendered children, e.g. in the terms of female/male identities. However, both fields have important arguments that point to complex processes. This paper explores the constructions of multiple identities among preschool children in a day-care centre context. These include a shifting relevance of gender and childhood in the children's interactions with each other. A variety of different situations (play-time, circle-time, meals etc.) and interactions among just girls and boys respectively, as well as girls and boys together, are considered. Grasping children's perspectives is given special attention in this ethnographic study. The analysis is based on field-notes and video-recordings from six months of fieldwork in two Norwegian day-care centres. Participant observations of daily life and child-child interactions in particular were the main research strategy. Additionally, the staff members (eight women) were interviewed.

 

 

LIFE AFTER CARE: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE EXPERIENCES OF MINORITY ETHNIC AND WHITE YOUNG PEOPLE

Author(s): Ravinder Barn

This paper will provide an overview of research and policy developments in the area of young people leaving the public care system, and their subsequent experiences in the community in Britain. Theoretical and methodological developments, arising from a Joseph Rowntree Foundation study currently underway, will be highlighted. It will be argued that evidence based research exploring issues and concerns affecting minority ethnic young people is vital in policy, planning and provision (Barn, R. (2001) Black Youth on the Margins, York: JRF)

 

 

'NO JOBS BUT PLENTY OF CHEAP HEROIN': POVERTY DRUGS, YOUTH TRANSITIONS AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION

Author(s): Robert MacDonald and Jane Marsh

This paper is based on recent qualitative research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council that examined youth transitions in a context of social exclusion. As well as interviews with professionals involved with youth issues, the fieldwork involved participant observation and qualitative interviews with 15 to 25 year olds living in some of the most deprived parts of Britain (in Teesside, Northeast England). The study theorised transitions in respect of the interdependent effects of the school to work, family, housing, leisure, criminal and drug-using 'careers' of young people. This paper will focus on the last of these and their significance for young people growing up in poor neighbourhoods and in broader processes of social exclusion/ inclusion. Illicit drug use is commonly portrayed as one of multiple social pathologies said to typify excluded populations and places. Less common are detailed investigations of the ways in which illicit drug use can be both a cause and effect of social exclusion. The fieldwork suggested that a three-fold typology of youth drug using behaviour might help capture young people's experiences in this respect (ranging from abstinence and anti-drug attitudes, through 'recreational drug use' to more dependent, 'problematic' drug use). We describe the first and second of these positions (and in so doing engage critically with popular theses about 'drug normalisation') but concentrate our discussion on the use of heroin in this context. We conclude that it is difficult to understand the appeal of 'poverty drugs' without also comprehending the changing drug and labour markets that frame young people's wider processes of transition.

 

 

WHAT CAN LIFE COURSE RESEARCH TELL "THE BIOGRAPHICAL TURN"?

Author(s): Robert Miller

The term 'biographical turn' has been applied to a collection of parallel developments in the social sciences which share a recognition that identity - both personal and (arguably) collective - is a process of ongoing construction and maintenance anchored both in the recollection of past experience and an anticipation of the future. Adopting a biographical perspective strengthens the researcher's capacity to work with time-related issues such as dealing with intergenerational change, incorporating a historical context and, methodologically, problems of selective or warped memory. Given the biographical turn's time-centred view of the present through lenses of the past and future, however, it is paradoxical that the perspective has been largely blind to intragenerational change. The paper will consider the possibilities for strengthening the biographical perspective by a recognition of the significance of developmental issues across the life span.

 

 

SCHOOL-BASED INTERGENERATIONAL PROGRAMS: LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Author(s): S. Feldman, T. Seedsman and H. Mahoney

 

 

DIMENSIONS AND STRUCTURES OF ATTITUDES COMMON TO 15-YEAR-OLDS IN GLASGOW AND HELSINKI

Author(s): Sakari Karvonen, Robert Young, Patrick West and Ossi Rahkonen

Young people are facing a profound social change affecting to their personal experiences in employment, family life and gender roles as well as their relationship with public institutions. As the influence of tradition and social institutions declines young people are increasingly required to construct their personal, individualised ethical principles. The attitudinal coherence typical of modern societies appears to be less evident among young people and their attitudinal perspective to be characterised more by contextually situated reactions showing strong contradictions. Here, our interest lies in the structure of attitudes and their spatial correlates. First, we aim to identify dimensions and structures of attitudes common to 15-year-olds in Glasgow and Helsinki. Second, we compare the extent to which Glaswegians show more late modern attitudes and, whether traces of more fragmenting attitudes can be found among them. The material for the study comes from two surveys (Glasgow n=2196, Helsinki n=2420) that incorporated an identical 32-item list of attitudes selected to detect cultural differences. The structure of items and their latent dimensions were studied by means of factor analysis and structural equation modelling. Helsinki showed more attitude consensus whereas Glaswegians were more individualised. In Glasgow it appears to be possible to hold divergent and potentially even contrasting positions whereas in Helsinki there seems to be a general pool of attitudes that many young people share. Overall the comparison suggests that attitudinal coherence is reduced along with late modernity. However, there appears to be important local adaptations, which will be discussed during the presentation.

 

 

YOUNG WOMEN'S AGENCY AND SEX-BASED HARASSMENT

Author(s): Sanna Aaltonen

The paper is concerned with questions of young women's agency in dealing with sex-based harassment. Drawing on essays and interviews collected among 15-16 -year old boys and girls the paper explores what kind of contextual possibilities and boundaries for agency are constructed in relation to sex-based harassment. Young people have varied viewpoints not only on what counts as sex-based harassment, but also on what are the appropriate ways to deal with unwanted and one-sided sex-based approaches. Drawing the line between non-harassment and harassment as well as responding to harassment vary depending upon such factors as time, place and age. While protecting ones bodily integrity is considered self evident and justified in some circumstances, young people give examples of situations where it is not appropriate or desirable for a girl to "make a fuss" even over unwanted approaches. Labelling experiences as harassment is partly linked to sense of agency; for example defining hara! ssment as normal part of girl boy relationships and thus making it invisible can be said to reduce the possibility of agency for girls. These questions are discussed and illustrated through a case study of an essay and an interview of a 15-year old girl.

 

 

 

CHANGING FAMILIES AS SOCIETIES AGE: INTERGENERATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS AND GRANDPARENTHOOD

Author(s): Sarah Harper

 

 


YOUTH AND CITIZENSHIP: THE IMPORTANCE OF PARTICIPATION

Author(s): Saskia De Groof and Jessy Siongers

The importance of raising democratic and civic attitudes with youngsters is increasing continuously. In Flanders (Belgium) citizenship education is considered as one of the top priorities of educational policy. Therefore, the Flemish government attaches significance to the participation and involvement of young people. Literature shows strong evidence for a connection between participation and democratic attitudes. This paper explores citizenship education in Flanders. We will take a glance at student participation and democratic citizenship education. Our analyses will be based on 2 surveys. One was held in 89 secondary schools in Flanders during the school year 1999-2000. 13417 pupils of the fourth and sixth grade of secondary education (ca. 16-18 year old) participated in this study. The other one was carried out in 2001 and 3452 pupils of the second and fourth grade of secondary education (ca. 14-16 year old) filled in a questionnaire. The analyses presented in this paper seek to answer two questions. First, does informal education, in the sense of participation in associations and clubs (e.g. Social organisations, sport clubs, …) and participation in extracurricular activities at school (e.g. student councils, social activities,…), has a positive influence on democratic citizenship and more in particular on democratic attitudes? And if so, do all young people participate equally in these activities in- and outside school and do all have the same opportunity to partake?

 

 

 

STICKS AND SMOKE: GROWING UP WITH A SENSE OF THE CITY IN THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE

Author(s): Sheila Henderson

Escaping the city in pursuit of the rural idyll is by no means a new social trend in societies However, for the concerned urban parent in the UK able to muster the necessary resources, it has never been a more popular strategy for reaching for improved quality of life and for minimising the perceived risk their child faces. How does this parental shift from city to countryside shape the life course of children and young people? This paper focuses on the biographies of three young people whose parents left the city for the countryside in the 1980s. Drawing on data from a longitudinal qualitative study of young people growing up in five different locations the UK (currently in its 6th year), it explores the ways in which both their rural landscape and a sense of their parents' urban culture are implicated in their identity formation, youth cultural activities and transitional experiences. In so doing, the paper builds on recent work that attempts to bridge the sociological divide between structural studies of youth transitions and cultural analysis of youth styles and identities. It does this, not only by illustrating the important role played by spatial analysis in bringing these together but also in lending rare insight into the culture and transitions of young people with a middle class background.

 

 

 

CULTURAL DISCOURSES OF AGE AND THE LIFE-COURSE

Author(s): Sinikka Aapola

In this presentation, the aim is to explore the cultural discourses and representations of age and the life-course. The objective is to clarify cultural perceptions of age, and the inter-connected normative age orders in today's society. My theoretical frame is based on a discourse analytical approach to dimensions of age. I have discerned four main discourses of age, all with at least one sub-discourse: the discourses of chronological age, physical age, experential age and symbolic age. I shall demonstrate my approach by presenting some preliminary findings from my current postdoctoral research project, called "Young People Transgressing Cultural Age Orders". The data of the research is derived, on the one hand, from Finnish popular magazines and, on the other, from biographical interviews with Finnish young people from various backgrounds. The cultural definitions and social meanings of age, as well as the links between dimensions of age with gender and social background, will be explored. Age is seen as a socially constructed, multi-dimensional phenomenon that has not been adequately theorized within social sciences, and that needs further exploring both empirically and theoretically.

 

 

FLEXIBLE WORK: A TRANSITIONAL CHOICE OR AN IMPOSED OPTION FOR YOUTH IN THE AGEING EUROPEAN SOCIETIES

Author(s): Siyka Kovacheva and Nong Tang

A rising trend in European labour markets in the past twenty years is the growth of flexible employment. Part-time work, flexible working schedules, non-standard employment contracts or work without a contract are becoming widespread in European economies, particularly among the young generation. Is flexible work a preferred temporary choice for students and labour market entrants or an imposed labour market option into which youth are pushed by privileged older generations that had gained their work experience under different economic conditions? This paper focuses on the dramatic implications the shift toward labour flexibility has upon youth and their life strategies. It uses comparative survey results into households and flexible employment, funded by the European Commission. The paper examines the age and generation patterns of flexible employment in the diverging economic, social policy and cultural contexts of eight North, Western, Central and Eastern European countries. It makes an attempt to study the prerequisites under which flexible work is a way for the social integration of young people rather than for their social exclusion in the ageing European societies.

 

 

VIEWS AND ACTIONS OF CITIZENSHIP AMONGST YOUNG ADULTS IN EUROPE: LOOKING AT GENDER AND NATIONAL DIFFERENCES

Author(s): Sue Grundy

This paper examines whether people are differently oriented to citizenship by way of their gender and/or nationality, and suggests what the implications of this are for European citizenship and policymaking. Using the findings of a questionnaire administered to 4000, 18-24 year olds, in seven European countries (Austria, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Germany, Scotland, England, Spain), the paper will explore variations in orientations to citizenship and European identity. The data include responses to questions relating to opinions about citizenship as well as examining participation in various 'citizen' activities by young men and women. European states vary in terms of the profile given to European citizenship. For example, in the UK, the press often blames the European Union for bureaucratic rules; the role that EU membership has played in strengthening equality and welfare is often downplayed. Indeed, the political culture in the UK may make it unlikely that citizenship of the European Union engages either young British men or women. Our findings suggest a complex picture with limited differences between men and women and strong national differences. For instance, voting is much lower amongst our sample in Scotland and England than it is in many of the other research countries of the project. www.ed.ac.uk/sociol/youth

 

 

 

RETURN TO THE SOURCE? SINGLE YOUNG ADULTS AND THE ICONIC STATUS OF THE PARENTAL HOME

Author(s): Sue Heath

Despite the growth of independent living arrangements across much of Northern Europe, we still know very little about relationships with parents amongst young people who are maintaining a single lifestyle outside of the parental home. This paper will explore this theme through drawing on data from a study of single young adults largely in their mid- to late-twenties living in shared housing in the South of England. It will highlight the apparently ambiguous status that single young adults believe themselves to hold in their parents' eyes: enjoying a high degree of independence, yet not totally independent. The paper will illustrate this in a number of ways. First, many single young adults continue to feel a strong link to the parental home, or consider themselves to have two homes ('here home' and 'home home'), yet feel very ambivalent about their changing relationship to the parental home. Return visits to the parental home are common, although visits by parents to the homes of their single children are infrequent or non-existent. Most talk of an awareness of how their relationships with their parents have become more 'adult' the longer they have lived away from the parental home, yet are conscious that they often revert to former patterns of behaviour on return visits. Nonetheless, and despite the growing importance of friendship networks amongst single young adults, parents remain important figures in the lives of these young people.

 

 

SOCIOLOGY OF THE YOUTH AS A MIDDLE-LEVEL THEORY IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGICAL VITALISM

Author(s): Svyatoslav Grigoryev

Actuality of analysis on tendencies of development of sociology of the youth as a middle-level theory in contemporary sociological vitalism is determined, in minimum, by the following reasons: first of all, by the evident sharpening of problems of vital character in such social-demographic group as the youth. It is conditioned, form the one hand, by evident sharpening of global problems, new combination of global, national and personal-individual in social life and social, social-group and individual-personal; and by the sharpness of problems of transformation of contemporary society there the dominating type of social development that changes the way of life of all generations and age groups - from the other hand. Secondly, we can mark such reason as the formation of educational society and system of life long learning education in conditions of informational-communicative revolution creating new scale perspectives of development of the active creative activity of the young generation, its progressive development from the one hand; and new serious risks for physical, psychical and social health of the young people in all regional of the modern world - from the other. Third, we verify the fact that the development of sociological vitalism, sociology of vital forces of contemporary human evidently and seriously requires for formation of such middle-level theory as vitalist junilogy, sociology of the youth - system of sociological knowledge on the young generation based on vitalist sociology. These allow the consideration the general peculiarities and tendencies of the forming and realization of subjectness of the young generation in conditions of new space-time on the XXIst century, provision of its physical, psychical and social health. Fourthly, we pay our attention to the forming of a new structure of contemporary sociological knowledge where special, middle-level and branch theories of non-classical paradigms and big sociological theories paying strategically important role. At least, fifthly, we should mark such circumstance that a number of sociological paradigms and their middle-level theories stimulate integrative processes in development of fundamental bases of contemporary sociological knowledge, strengthening of role of monism of scientific social knowledge by determining its new combination with sociological polyparadigmality. Sociology of the youth in contemporary sociological vitalism is evidently strengthens the interdependence and interference of different branch and special theories, theoretical and empiric knowledge, its orientation on new vitally important problems of social and individual-personal development.

 

 

 

UNITING WELFARE STATE RESEARCH AND YOUTH SOCIOLOGY: THE CASE OF YOUNG PEOPLE'S RIGHTS AND ACCESS TO HOUSING

Author(s): Teresa Jurado Guerrero

Comparative Welfare State research neglects the role of housing markets and housing policies for young people's welfare. This paper studies the influence of national housing contexts on young people's housing transitions in three Conservative/Mediterranean Welfare Regimes. A cross-national analysis of young people's leaving home patterns in France, Spain and Portugal allows to compare a context where young people leave parents' home comparatively early (France) with a context with average leaving home timing (Portugal) and a context of late leaving home timing (Spain). In the two latter countries, public housing policy is less generous and encompassing than in France, while family support is as important or even more. First, a theoretical framework for the study of the role of the State, the market and the families in the provision of housing, based on the work of Barlow/Duncan (1994) and Blossfeld/Kurz (2003), is proposed. Second, an analysis of French, Spanish and Portuguese housing markets and housing policies from the perspective of young people shows the various roles, which states and families play in young people's housing transition (Jurado Guerrero 2001). The latter is based on a study of comparative housing market statistics, public housing benefits and public regulation of housing and mortgage markets. The comparison of young people's housing conditions is based on individual data of the European Community Household Panel.

 

 

RECRUITING YOUNG PEOPLE TO POLITICAL PARTIES IN THE UK: THE CASE OF THE BRITISH NATIONAL PARTY (BNP) IN THE NORTH OF ENGLAND

Author(s): Tom Cockburn

Over the last year the far right political party the British National Party (BNP) has gained a number of local election seats in the North of England in Burnley, Oldham and Halifax. A considerable amount of effort has been put into recruiting young people as supporters and activists at a local level by the BNP. Furthermore, the UK government has been concerned with issues to do with `voter apathy', particularly amongst young people. Thus the UK government has established a number of initiatives to attract young people into political participation such as citizenship education in schools, the establishment of a UK `Children's Parliament' and the formation of the Children and Young People's Unit (CYPU). This paper begins with the results of a series of pilot interviews with young people in the North of England currently active in the BNP. The paper presents the findings of these interviews and links these into broader issues of participation in mainstream political parties in the UK.

 

 

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION IN EUROPE (YUSE)

Author(s): Torild Hammer

The study draws on a new comparative data set of nearly 17,000 young unemployed people in Europe. Representative samples were drawn from national unemployment registers, with eligible respondents defined as young people between the ages of 18 and 24 who had been unemployed for a period of at least three months during the previous six months. They were interviewed one year later. The total sample in all ten countries therefore consists of young unemployed people with a variety of work histories that, at the time of the interviews, were located in a wide range of positions inside and outside of the labour market. The samples and response rates were: Finland, 73% of n = 2386; Iceland, 63% of n = 2280; Norway, 56% of n = 1997; Sweden, 63% of n = 3998; Denmark, 76% of n = 1540; Scotland, 56% of n = 1500; Germany, 65% of n = 3000; Spain, 52% of n = 5000; France, 51% of n = 4000; Italy, net sample n = 1421 of n = 1500. The main finding of this study is that few young unemployed people were socially excluded, not even in countries with extremely high unemployment such as Italy and Spain. None the less, the young unemployed, particularly those who have experienced financial deprivation, have a higher risk of marginalisation in some areas. Scottish and Finnish unemployed youth in our study faced an especially difficult situation. Even though the unemployment rate is extremely high in southern Europe, these young people are well supported by their parents. Although the unemployment rate is much lower in Scotland, the proportion of long-term unemployed youth was nearly as high in Scotland as in Finland and southern Europe - countries with much higher unemployment rates. Further, the high unemployment rate among parents of Scottish unemployed youth indicates that unemployment in Scotland tends to hit households and marginal groups, suggesting a cumulative disadvantage over time. Scottish and Finnish unemployed youth are not as well supported by their parents as are their counterparts in Italy and Spain, and at the same time they receive a relatively low level of benefits.. In Finland there are strong social norms of leaving the parental home at a young age to seek independence. In Scotland, more young people live with their parents. However, unemployment and deprivation in Scottish households make the situation difficult for Scottish unemployed youth. This situation is also evident if we examine subjective dimensions of social exclusion. We found that Scottish unemployed youth reported lower levels of well being than did unemployed youth in the other countries. We also found lower levels of political activity in Scotland and Finland compared with the other countries, in particular among the long-term unemployed. The main results from the study will be published in summer 2003: Hammer, T, (Ed.), Youth unemployment and social exclusion in Europe, Bristol: Policy Press. Other publications see Project homepage: www.isaf.no/nova/fou/hammer/unemployment.htm

 

 

YOUTH CULTURES AND YOUTH TRANSITIONS: TOWARDS A MORE HOLISTIC UNDERSTANDING OF YOUTH CULTURES

Author(s): Tracy Shildrick

Within the field of youth studies it is broadly accepted, firstly, that youth cultural research and youth transitions research have tended to operate relatively distinctly and, secondly, that youth cultural studies have tended to explore young people's experiences largely separate from their broader school to work transitions. This paper attempts, in a small way, to try and bridge this gap. The paper draws upon the findings of research conducted for a PhD. which explored the nature of youth cultural identification and its relationship to the use of illicit drugs. Most research on youth cultures in the UK has tended to focus upon either dance club cultures, known drug users or young people who have adopted spectacular subcultural styles. The young people who took part in this study were more 'ordinary' in so far as they were not recruited for their obvious stylistic preferences or for their known use of illicit drugs. A further aim of this research was to try and locate an understanding of these issues alongside of an appreciation of young people's socio-economic situations and their school to work transitions. Within this study three broad youth cultural groupings were identified, 'trackers', 'spectacular' youth and 'ordinary' young people. The widest disparities in youth cultural and drug using experiences existed between the 'trackers' and the rest of the sample. This paper describes these three different groupings and furthermore it is argued that it is difficult to understand the youth cultural and drug using experiences of the 'trackers' without consideration of their broader socio-economic positions.

 

 

LESSONS FROM THE SOCIALIST LIFE-COURSE REGIME

Author(s): Ulrike Nagel

(The background of the suggested presentation are studies on East German biographies (managers; people in rural areas) and transition processes.) The presentation will characterise the socialist life course regime, mainly in that the state held a tight rein over life course decisions, and that the institutionalised life course provided, as well as denied, opportunities for further education and social mobility. Then the biographical consequences are outlined, i.e. the building of a mental reservation against the power system due to the tendency of the institutionalised life course to be at odds with the biographical and professional maturing of the individual. In the final section these findings will be discussed with a view to the present-day situation of chaging life course patterns. I will look at the hindsight of the modern welfare state, its tendency of processing people and thus risking what can be observed already in the "western" world, a decline in numbers of voters in state elections.The suggested contribution will end with a remark on the formative power of the institutionalised life course and its representation in biographical interviews and the biographical work of the individual.

 

 

TEACHERS WE LIVE WITH

Author(s): Ulla-Maija Salo 

This paper is centered to turning-point moments in individual lives. I am reading the Finnish adult memories of their teachers and teachers' impact on the writers' constructions of themselves. In a way, these are key episodes of their lives in which self-formation occurs. Teachers are narrated as part of another personal life history. People relive their special episodes and assess the importance of the teachers in their life. My interest here is to analyse how the writers are creating themselves in these relationships. The writers have no trouble at all remembering the humiliation involved and the shame and embarrassment that followed. How very many times people have gone back to those same places, to standing in front of the class, on the podium. So that the others could see and fear in advance. But there are also experiences that help to keep you going. The narratives on encounters with the teachers seem to be what Norman K. Denzin calls the epiphanies of life. These are transformational experiences, after which a person will never be quite the same again. Because of their profound meaning, these episodes of life are remembered and told time and time again, and once they are given a thick description as parts of personal stories, they are brought alive with all the density of emotion and interaction. The key episodes of the teacher stories -- that is, episodes where the construction of self or identity is at its most intense -- often seem to be episodes that are thick in expectation. These expectations can be recalled after decades but now the narrator has the possibility to face them.

 

 

FROM EDUCATIONAL ASPIRATIONS TO INVESTMENTS: THE GAP FOR IMMIGRANT FAMILIES IN FRANCE

Author(s): Yaël Brinbaum

A French study reveals that in families with similar background and environment, immigrants' children are more successful academically than native French children (Vallet et Caille, 1995). These results are explained by immigrant families' educational behaviour, linked to their higher expectations towards school in France, the school system being considered a way towards integration and social mobility. This confirms results by European research. However, there is very little quantitative research on this topic in France. The objective of this paper is to analyze immigrant families' educational investments in France, to understand better the mechanisms used to facilitate children's achievements and therefore, their transition from school to work. We will compare educational aspirations and educational investments, in taking into account families trajectories and their resources. This paper deals with the following questions: Controlling for social class, do immigrant families' aspirations for their children differ from native French families' aspirations? Since immigrants constitute a heterogeneous group, do we observe differences according to national origin or time of migration? How are those expectations translated in behaviour, according to parental background and resources, migration and national origin? We use data from the 1992 Efforts d'éducation des familles survey (Educational investments by Families) carried out by Insee (the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies) and Ined (the National Institute of Demographic Studies), which contains indicators identifying rigorously the immigrant population and data on children's education, parents' educational aspirations and investments -such as their involvement in children' education, their assistance with school work etc.-. Outcomes show that most families have high educational aspirations. Moreover, immigrant families wish longer studies for their children than native French families. And further, two kinds of expectations appear, revealing different strategies according to cultural origin. North-African families expect long studies in secondary school for their children, while Portuguese families prefer short studies, in order to access more quickly the labour market. Concerning investments, parental school assistance with school work differs between immigrants and native French from the same social class, and according to cultural origin. Indicators of parental investments show the impact of the migratory process and also the difficulties of immigrant families related to their weak resources and therefore the gap between aspirations and investments for a number of immigrant families.

 

 

JOBSEEKERS

Author(s): Yolande Benarrosh

From their first contact with a National Employment Agency (ANPE), jobseekers are screened, usually by implicit criteria. This communication reconstructs these criteria on the basis of observations made in tow agencies. It shows how this "initial screening" leads to a first classification into the unemployed "out of touch with work" and jobseekers processed directly by the agency. Although the latter group are likely to be "brought into contact" with vacancies, one wonders what happens to the former: are they not likely to swell the ranks of the chronic unemployed and eventually to become "unemployable"? This question is all the more pertinent in that the interviews with the various people working in the unemployment field, carried out while the observations were being made, show a tacit consensus on the selection criteria, which then have a domino effect : the employers apply them during recruitment or when accepting trainees ; the National Employment Agency compromises between the criteria used by employers, the guideliness set out in its national policy and day-by-day management of the flow of jobseekers ; lastly the various structures which receive "difficult cases" apply these criteria in their turn, while exacerbating their behavioural side, for reasons that will be shown during the communication.

 

 

YOUTH GROUPS AND VIOLENCE: THE CASE OF SKINHEAD SUBCULTURES

Author(s): Youra Petrova

In this presentation, the primary focus is on questions illuminating the process of construction and appearance of youth violence referring groups in France, looking firstly at French sociological literature on youth, how different authors analyse them and secondly, relating these concepts to our empirical results, giving examples with our data on skinheads. Which is the real impact of violence division inside these groups, especially among extreme-right wing skinheads ? French skinheads form a variety of sub-divisions, they are minorities, but visible and well-structured groups with certain social, cultural and political themes and references, and at the same time, clearly distinct from each other, even opposite with extreme left and extreme right referenced behaviours, concerning the question of racial identification or its rejection. However, all branches skinheads can be characterised by their violence. Which forms do this violence get in the groups I have studied, which are their meanings ? In which ways do diverse forms interact with each other and what is their dynamics ? What are the diverse stages in the construction of skinheads violent behaviour and their political and economic reasons ? What are the family-related and educational roots of these youngsters ?

 

 

ALTER FAMILY. GENERATIONAL TRANSMISSION, MIRROR EFFECT: CONTINUITIES, RUPTURES, AND SELF- ASSERTION

Author(s): Yvonne Pozo

Changes and transformations that took place last decades, concerning couples and man/woman relations (mastering of birth control, generalization of women access to work, equality (parity) between woman and man, biological and technological transformations, etc.), are multiple and essential. Many historians and experts have looked into to this metamorphosis. Debates on the equalities of rights equality, on gender, on parity, on homosexual legal couples or on parental authority, have pushed forward the reflection on this matter (cf. Bibliography). We have made an international comparative survey with more punctual aims on the redefinition of parental places and roles in domestic area, based on evidence given by couples belonging to urban middle class environment. This survey gives us various and complex results, we are living in a post-modern period experiencing a cultural change as a consequence of all these transformations. New man/woman identity challenges are gradually emerging and mainly in quite a different way : after the transformations concerning the place of women in the public/private sphere, after the evidence of the existence of a plurality of family models replacing the nuclear model, there is also a plurality of masculine models which can be observed. And this happens within a historical context of continuities and ruptures. Within this frame, we want to study in depth the transmission between generations analysing the passage from marital status to parental one. A mirror effect, a reproduction or rejection of the model which has been experienced with the parents appears as a common behaviour in search of an identity self-assertion. Rejection or reproduction of the model, how do they play their role in the building of conjugal or parental links? Which are the facilities or the difficulties found by people in search of self-assertion within this context? So, the analysis of evidence reflects how complex is the reality studied when it deals with the place taken as a spouse, a father or a mother in the domestic area which is now to be redefined. The building of conjugal and parental links happens nowadays in a different way, a plurality of models can be observed. The behaviours observed in the testimonies break with traditional representations concerning masculine and feminine patterns and speaking about "exchangeable roles" may seem to be improper or detrimental to some experts, speaking the question of the sexually-oriented specificity of certain domestic tasks or of certain responsibilities, educational, recreational or to establish authority now in many cases, both parents have professional activities.