Biographies of exclusion: poor work and poor transitions  

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10149/58437
Title:
Biographies of exclusion: poor work and poor transitions  
Authors:
Shildrick, T. A. (Tracy); MacDonald, R. (Robert)
Affiliation:
University of Teesside; Social Futures Institute. Youth Research Unit.
Citation:
Shildrick, T. A. and MacDonald, R. (2007) 'Biographies of exclusion: poor work and poor transitions', International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26(5), pp.589-604.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis
Journal:
International Journal of Lifelong Education
Issue Date:
Sep-2007
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10149/58437
DOI:
10.1080/02601370701559672
Abstract:
The usefulness of the concept of transition has been hotly contested in Anglophone youth studies over the past decade. A variety of criticisms have been ranged against it, including that it: presumes the continuing predominance of linear, obvious, mainstream pathways to adulthood; excludes wider youth questions in focusing narrowly on educational and employment encounters; prioritises normative and policy-focused assumptions and de-prioritises the actual lived experiences of young people; and is no longer a tenable concept, given the extension of youth phase and the blurring of it and 'adulthood' as distinct life-phases. Drawing upon qualitative, longitudinal studies with 'socially excluded' young adults, this paper contends with these arguments. The research participants were 186 'hard to reach' young women and men who were growing up in some of England's poorest neighbourhoods, some of whom were followed into their mid to late twenties. The studies confirmed many of the specific criticisms lodged against the idea of transition. Interviewees' lives post-school were marked by unpredictability, flux and insecurity. Engagement with post-16 education and training courses was common, despite wide-spread disaffection from school pre-16. Typically, these later learning encounters were short-lived, negatively assessed and un-related to labour market fortunes. Economic marginality and recurrent unemployment were uniform experiences. 'Hyper-conventional', class cultural orientations to employment drove post-school transitions, even when these motivations resulted only in low paid, low skill, insecure 'poor work'. In conclusion, we re-affirm the value of a broad and long view of youth transitions, situated in a panorama of socio-economic change. We argue that this sort of conceptualisation of transition is crucial to understanding the twists and turns of individual biographies and the coming together of these in socially structured patterns of inclusion, exclusion and inequality.
Type:
Article
Keywords:
transitions; young adults; social exclusion; socio-economic change
ISSN:
0260-1370
Rights:
Subject to restrictions, author can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing). For full details see http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/ [Accessed 13/11/09]
Citation Count:
2 [Scopus, 13/11/2009]

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorShildrick, T. A. (Tracy)-
dc.contributor.authorMacDonald, R. (Robert)-
dc.date.accessioned2009-04-01T10:52:03Z-
dc.date.available2009-04-01T10:52:03Z-
dc.date.issued2007-09-
dc.identifier.citationInternational Journal of Lifelong Education; 26(5): 589-604-
dc.identifier.issn0260-1370-
dc.identifier.doi10.1080/02601370701559672-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10149/58437-
dc.description.abstractThe usefulness of the concept of transition has been hotly contested in Anglophone youth studies over the past decade. A variety of criticisms have been ranged against it, including that it: presumes the continuing predominance of linear, obvious, mainstream pathways to adulthood; excludes wider youth questions in focusing narrowly on educational and employment encounters; prioritises normative and policy-focused assumptions and de-prioritises the actual lived experiences of young people; and is no longer a tenable concept, given the extension of youth phase and the blurring of it and 'adulthood' as distinct life-phases. Drawing upon qualitative, longitudinal studies with 'socially excluded' young adults, this paper contends with these arguments. The research participants were 186 'hard to reach' young women and men who were growing up in some of England's poorest neighbourhoods, some of whom were followed into their mid to late twenties. The studies confirmed many of the specific criticisms lodged against the idea of transition. Interviewees' lives post-school were marked by unpredictability, flux and insecurity. Engagement with post-16 education and training courses was common, despite wide-spread disaffection from school pre-16. Typically, these later learning encounters were short-lived, negatively assessed and un-related to labour market fortunes. Economic marginality and recurrent unemployment were uniform experiences. 'Hyper-conventional', class cultural orientations to employment drove post-school transitions, even when these motivations resulted only in low paid, low skill, insecure 'poor work'. In conclusion, we re-affirm the value of a broad and long view of youth transitions, situated in a panorama of socio-economic change. We argue that this sort of conceptualisation of transition is crucial to understanding the twists and turns of individual biographies and the coming together of these in socially structured patterns of inclusion, exclusion and inequality.-
dc.publisherTaylor and Francis-
dc.rightsSubject to restrictions, author can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing). For full details see http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/ [Accessed 13/11/09]-
dc.subjecttransitions-
dc.subjectyoung adults-
dc.subjectsocial exclusion-
dc.subjectsocio-economic change-
dc.titleBiographies of exclusion: poor work and poor transitions  -
dc.typeArticle-
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Teesside-
dc.contributor.departmentSocial Futures Institute. Youth Research Unit.-
dc.identifier.journalInternational Journal of Lifelong Education-
ref.assessmentRAE 2008-
ref.citationcount2 [Scopus, 13/11/2009]-
or.citation.harvardShildrick, T. A. and MacDonald, R. (2007) 'Biographies of exclusion: poor work and poor transitions', International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26(5), pp.589-604.-
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