Labour market integration for young people is far from smooth, despite levels of education and skills higher than ever. Especially since the start of the economic crisis, youth unemployment, underemployment and precarisation have been spreading across countries.
Social scientists have engaged with this complex issue and its effect on youth vulnerability by adopting a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives. Some have focused on structural and institutional constraints; some on youth agency in a life course perspective; others have attempted to combine structural configurations with reflexivity, as parts of comprehensive ‘structures of opportunities’ (Roberts, 2009) or ‘regimes of youth transitions’ (Walther, 2006). Not only content wise, but also as far as methods are concerned, these rich body of work has reached a high level of sophistication across the spectrum of quantitative and qualitative research.
Yet, methodological expertise tends to remain trapped in separated domains rather than merging with and contributing to one another. We believe that further work in integrating methodologies could have a strong added value and enhance significantly the body of knowledge on youth integration in the labour market.
We are firmly convinced that an effort of this kind will take research onto the next level and therefore we invite authors to take this challenge with us, eliciting papers on youth integration in the labour market which emphasize the possibility of a methodological dialogue across youth research. Papers do not necessarily have to adopt a fully-fledged mixed-method approach. They could address conceptual issues and/or specific policies dealing with various aspects of youth vulnerabilities in the labour market (e.g. employment and unemployment, school to work transitions, precarisation, etc.), looking at various conditions of youth in single countries and/or comparatively; institutional configurations of transition systems; evaluations, outputs and outcomes of interventions; experiences, biographies and capability/agency of young people in their attempt to construct a meaningful career.
Selected papers will be invited to contribute to a Special Issue in an international journal.
Roberts, K. (2009) ”Opportunity structures then and now.” Journal of education and work 22 (5): 355-368.
Walther, A. (2006). Regimes of youth transitions: Choice, flexibility and security in young people’s experiences across different European contexts. Young, 14(2): 119–139.