Europe. Work and the Young, between Inequality and the looking for a New Sense
There may be varying levels of seriousness in the various institutional and welfare systems, but the generational segmentation of the labour markets in Europe have not only become structural but originate in
policies that are either wrong or, at least, incomplete. For reasons that have not been fully explained – but in the case of Italy may depend on the family’s role as a social shock-absorber – this inequality has not so
far given rise to genuine inter-generational conflict, even though there have been signs of a possible increase in protest movements. Yet it seems unlikely that having a pension and a permanent job can be
what is at stake in this conflict: in western societies, the young have developed a new work ethos and the expectations of change for Generation Y involve the whole relation between work and life and radically new ways of working.
Becoming Adults in Europe. The Footprint of National Societies on Forms of Youth Emancipation
The article illustrates the existence of various social constructions of youth and analyses their main political, economic and cultural foundations by a statistical and qualitative comparison of the family and professional paths of young adults in Denmark, the Uk, France and Spain. The analysis brings out the influence of society on this period of life, differentiating the trajectories and experiences associated with entering adult life: depending on how the state, educational systems and family rules that characterize them intervene, these societies tend to institutionalize various forms of transition to adult age and to generate specific ways of experiencing it.
Poverty among young Europeans: Risk Factors, Persistence, Correctives
This study analyses the factors associated with the persistence of poverty among youngsters in eleven European countries. Apart from the conditions that normally explain poverty and its persistence (low educational levels, living without a partner, leaving one’s original family, and joblessness), it shows the importance of the welfare system in attenuating the main risk factors to which young people are exposed in the process of transition to the adult state. It also shows how leaving one’s original family is one of the main risk factors for young people, while women have a greater probability of experiencing persistent poverty as a result of context variables and, in particular, inequality of opportunity.
How Spanish Young Adults try to Reconcile Work and Family and Achieve Emancipation: Comparative and Gender Perspectives
Working and forming a family is problematic for the Spanish, particularly for the «young adult» population between the ages of 20 and 29. It has become more difficult in recent years for this cohort to achieve emancipation and combine the two factors, due to economic instability, job uncertainty and the deficit of effective social policies in favour of new family units. In this scenario the strategies adopted to reconcile professional duties with the upbringing of children reproduce existing gender differences. This dynamic in turn reinforces familism as a socio-cultural and institutional structure based on women’s limited participation in the labour market and their greater role in the household and in reproduction.
University Students in Transition to Adult Age. Comparing Italy and England
The article analyses the subject of equality of university experience, dwelling on the implications of using various combinations of welfare resources (deriving from the state, the family and the labour market) on
the levels of dependence and stratification of young English and Italian university students. The first section uses Eurostudent and national data to explore similarities and differences in support policies in Italy and
England, and their effects on young students’ transition to adult age. The second section analyses the impact of the reforms of 2010 in the two countries, bringing out, alongside the continuing substantial differences, the recent mechanisms of hybridization between the English and Italian systems, due to the growing role of family resources. The impact of these phenomena will be analysed in the light of the salience of concepts of «meritocracy» and «social mobility» in the national debates.