Precarious work

The growing précarité of youth

Authored by: Robert MacDonald

Routledge Handbook of Youth and Young Adulthood

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138804357
eBook ISBN: 9781315753058
Adobe ISBN: 9781317619895

10.4324/9781315753058.ch18

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Abstract

The facts of how youth transitions in western, industrialised societies were radically restructured over the latter third of the twentieth century – and the consequences of this for young people – are well known. The extenuation, fragmentation, and increasing individualisation and complexity of pathways to adulthood is the core material of many recent studies of young people’s lives. Less well understood is the significance of precarious work for young people under these changed conditions, albeit that there has been considerable new interest in this question since the publication of the first volume of this handbook in 2009. The declining stability of employment for young people and the growth in precarious work has become a significant area of research for youth scholars of late. This is also suggested to be indicative of profound changes in the general and generational experience of what it is to be young. In considering the topic of young adults and precarious work, therefore, we are able to focus on particular, youth-related questions about changing transitions as well as broader sociological ones about change (and continuity) in late modernity (MacDonald, 2011).

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