Youth studies, housing transitions and the 'missing middle': time for a rethink?

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Abstract

A recent but growing trend in studies of young people s lives has been to highlight that there is a missing middle in the youth studies research agenda. It has been argued that much youth research focuses on either successful or very troubled transitions to adulthood, with the lives of those who might simply be getting by representing an empirical absence. Building on previous work that has addressed how such a missing middle can add to our understanding of educational experience and attainment, labour market engagement and participation, and issues of identity, this paper pays attention to the housing transitions, careers and aspirations of a group of ordinary and apparently unproblematic working class young men. Because they do not represent groups that have been of especial interest in youth studies to date, their experiences problematize the on-going utility of dominant conceptual frameworks used to explain housing transitions. In addition to their lack of fit with ideal type typologies, the young men also reveal the shifting nature of attitudes towards communal living which is traditionally associated with middle class students in combination with the continuing role of social resources as a determining factor in their housing transition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 20
Number of pages20
JournalSociological Research Online
Volume18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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