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Hard Pathways Towards Autonomy and Adulthood. Understanding Youth Transition Patterns in an Italian Fragile Area

TitleHard Pathways Towards Autonomy and Adulthood. Understanding Youth Transition Patterns in an Italian Fragile Area
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsMasoni I, Villa M
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published07/2021
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordsembeddedness, intersectionality, pragmatism, Youth transition patterns

The paper discusses the life courses of young people towards autonomy and adulthood, analyzing the transition patterns between education, work and the building-up of one’s own life project in a territory affected by multiple socio-economic and environmental crises in central Italy. The analysis is based on a pragmatist case study including in-depth interviews with 32 young people selected to reflect a diversity of conditions in terms of gender, education, employment, geographic origin, and age. Interviews have been designed around a comprehensive set of variables which extends well beyond the formal education and employment pathways. The aim was to reconstruct life trajectories and their embeddedness in the context, through a multidimensional analysis also in accordance with an intersectional approach. Method and socio-economic background data are presented before life history interviews are analyzed to identify the patterns of trajectories. Subsequently, their characteristics, similarities and differences are discussed. Data show how difficult working careers play an important role in affecting young people’s life plans and expectations, and along with social contexts, networks, public policies, family and social inheritance and gender, interact creating unequal opportunities, conditioning the development of trajectories and placing various hindrances in the construction of citizenship of social identity.