Ordinary working lives and the 'missing middle' of youth studies

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Youth studies have a tendency to focus on either spectacular /problematic or successful stories of young people s transitions to adulthood, creating an overlooked missing middle in youth research. Paying heed to this ordinary and unspectacular group allows us to critique accepted theoretical positions and in doing so develop a more holistic picture of the challenges facing young people today. This chapter draws attention to the need to move beyond seeing a positive employment status as an indicator of a successful transition to adulthood. Exploring the relevance of apparently ordinary working lives, issues such as low pay, decreasing employment security, diminishing awareness of and entitlements to effective representation, and a lack of opportunities for upward progression, the outlook for young people even in apparently secure employment is demonstrated to be far from unproblematic.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Children and Youth Studies
EditorsJohanna Wyn, Helen Cahill
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9789814451161
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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